Variety selection may be the most important decision a peanut farmer will make in planning for the 2011 crop.

“Yield and grade are the top considerations,” says Oklahoma State University Extension peanut specialist Chad Godsey. “But it’s important to diversify to consider disease tolerance, planting date and harvest time.”

Godsey reported on 2010 variety trials at the recent Oklahoma Peanut Expo at the Quartz Mountain Resort near Lone Wolf.

He said farmers should consider field history, production experience and variety trials before selecting varieties. “Also, look at results from multiple years,” he said. He prefers at least three years of data before farmers commit to significant acreage.

In 2010, Oklahoma peanut farmers planted more Spanish peanuts than any other market type. “Spanish peanuts accounted for 44 percent of Oklahoma’s peanut acreage,” Godsey said. Runner types and Virginia types each accounted for 28 percent of the acreage.

Godsey reported on 2010 trials from four locations—Beckham County, Caddo County, Custer/Blaine County and Love County. He tested runner, Virginia and Spanish varieties in all locations. “Weather conditions were good for peanut production in 2010,” he said.

In Beckham County, average yield for the runner test was 5,257 pounds per acre. Grade average was 72 percent total sound mature kernels (TSMK). “No significant differences were observed among the runner varieties,” Godsey said. “Red River Runner (a new release) and Flavor Runner 458 were the highest grading varieties. The higher grades for these two were also observed in 2009.”

Average yield for Spanish peanuts at the Beckham County site was 4,657 pounds per acre; grade averaged 70 percent. ARSOK-S1 (experimental variety), Tamnut OL06 and Tamspan 90 were top yield performers. “ARSOK-S1 and Tamnut OL06 routinely perform well in Beckham County,” Godsey said.

The Virginia test averaged 3,786 pounds per acre and 67 percent TSMK. “Yields and grades were lower than normal due to pod rot problems. We saw no significant difference between varieties.”

In Caddo County, average runner yield was 4,145 pounds with an average grade of 68 percent. Tamrun OL02, GA-09B and Red River Runner were top yielders. Red River Runner had the highest grade.

Spanish yield average was 3,887 with an average grade of 66 percent. Spanco and ARSOK-S1 were top yielding varieties.