In spite of another drought-plagued growing season, Oklahoma’s peanut yields held up well and seed germination from the 2013 crop appears to be good.
“We’ve seen some up and down with germination, with some in the high 90-percent range and some as low as the mid 50-percent level,” says Wade Krivanek, with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Krivanek, speaking at the Texas/Oklahoma Seed Trade breakfast prior to the annual Oklahoma Peanut Expo recently at the Quartz Mountain Resort near Lone Wolf, Okla., said a “little higher percentage of ‘dead seed’ showed up in certain lots. We don’t have an answer for the dead seed content,” he added. “But overall, seed looks pretty good. We don’t foresee any significant issues with planting seed if we get good growing conditions. Overall, we have good seed quality. We still have some left to test.”
He said abnormal seedling issues commonly found from the 2013 crop included no root development (moderate); weak, stubby, missing primary roots, no secondary roots (moderate); no epicotyl development (slight); missing primary leaf (slight); deep open lesions or cracks in hypocotyl (slight); and dead rotting seed (significant).
Seed quality is significantly better than following the 2011 crop, he said. “Two years ago we were looking at some real sorry seed.”
Alan Ortloff, Texoma Peanut Company/Clint Williams, Madill, Okla., said the 2013 peanut harvest was a good one. “Seed quality is looking good. Gregory is the best we’ve ever had. We are off to a good start.”
The 2013 Oklahoma peanut crop was “a near record,” said Joe D White, Oklahoma Peanut Commission chairman and peanut producer from Frederick. “State average was a bit more than 3,800 pounds per acre. “It was a good crop,” White said.
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Market type preference has changed, he added. “Those were mostly Spanish peanuts. The rest were split between runners and Virginias.”
Market type shifts
That shift has been noted in Texas as well, says Texas AgriLife Extension plant pathologist Jason Woodward, who works out of the Lubbock Research and Extension Center. “Early in the 2,000s, we were growing about 80 percent runner peanut varieties. We are seeing a decline with most runners now coming out of the South Texas production area.”
Runner acreage is being supplanted mostly by Virginia varieties, which have offered better contracts the last few years. “They also adapt well to the Texas High Plains,” Woodward said.
He said Valencia peanuts also picked up acreage in 2012 but “were back to normal in 2013. We also see an opportunity to grow the Spanish market.” That market may be capped for now, however.
He said 2013 Texas peanut planting included 25 percent runners, 25 percent Spanish, 15 percent Valencias and about 35 percent Virginias. Valencias will not yield as well as other market types but may offer good contract options.
Woodward said Texas acreage has declined with an upward blip in 2012. “It’s possible we could see from 115,000 to 120,000 acres in 2014.”
He’s also hoping for a better start for the 2014 crop. “We started off cold immediately after planting last year,” he said. That delayed emergence. “But stand was okay by the end of the year.”
Last year was also dominated by another severe drought. “We had extreme drought early but we did get more rain in-season than we had the last few years.”
He said establishing peanuts was more difficult further west. The north and northeast areas “started off better and got more rain in-season.”
Heavy winds, up to 70 miles per hour, also caused damage.
Woodward said newer varieties are coming along to supplant old standbys like Flavorunner 458. Tamrun OL07 and Tamrun OL11, he said, have better yield potential and better disease tolerance. “I am encouraged to see the performance of new varieties.”
Mark Burow, Texas A&M peanut geneticist, said several new high oleic varieties will be available within a few years. “We want to get high oleic options available in every market type,” Burow said.
He said Tamrun OL11, Tamrun OL12, Schubert, Webb, and TamVal OL14 are all high oleic. OL11 is a high oleic runner peanut “with improved shell-out,” Burow said. It also has resistance to sclerotinia.
“We have seed available for about 500 acres in 2014.”
OL12 is a high oleic variety with improved edible seed quality and two weeks earlier maturity. “It will be several years before it’s available.”
Schubert is a high oleic, early-maturity Spanish variety, also with resistance to sclerotinia. That one also is several years away from market.
Webb is a multi-disease resistant runner type with tolerance to root knot nematode and sclerotinia, developed from a wild species cross.
TamVal OL14 is a high oleic Valencia variety with “disease resistance and higher yield.” It’s also several years from commercialization.
Burow said OL11 is available in limited quantities and Webb will be available soon. “The others are several years away.