November 10, 2005:
The new USDA breeding line, C-11-2-39—proposed for release
in the public domain—may also help farmers with weed control.
It spreads well, shading many weeds with a thick canopy. It has
also demonstrated excellent germination and strong disease resistance.
“I was amazed. This variety was able to survive and thrive
after an attack of fungus,” farmer Shirley Daughtry said.
“I was amazed. This
variety was able to survive and thrive after an attack of
Its nuts might not be large in size, but they’re huge in
taste. Daughtry’s customers went nuts over the boiled goobers:
“They were the most flavorful, sweetest peanuts we’d
ever had,” she said.
Its red seed coat could pose a problem in processing, as most electronic
machines in the South sort red seeds as defective. Processors may
be able to recalibrate electronic sorters for specific varieties,
if they are willing to absorb the time and expense for technical
adjustment and batch segregation.
Seed availability will be an issue for some time as well, until
a substantial amount is produced just for seed. Accordingly, most
organic acreage this year is planted to Georgia 01R, also a resistant
variety that spreads well and has excellent yield potential and
a tan coating. However, it has had some germination problems, especially
in Relinda Walker’s eastern Georgia field this year. “It
was really sparse,” she said, “maybe a plant every few
feet or so.”
While weather, soil temperature, and planting depth likely played
a role, she won’t try 01R again. She plowed up all but four
rows of it, which she maintained for research purposes. Emile DeFelice
in South Carolina also had problems with germination and had to
As long as the plants emerge,
the new cultivars provide the best line of defense against
leaf spot and tomato spotted wilt virus.
As long as the plants emerge, the new cultivars provide the best
line of defense against leaf spot and tomato spotted wilt virus—the
most ubiquitous peanut diseases. Crop rotation, conservation tillage,
and straw mulching are also effective, says plant pathologist Dr.
This year, Culbreath’s team experimented with intercropping
of different varieties, neem oil, and copper and biological fungicides
for leaf spot management. Strip-intercropping with peanuts, cotton,
and corn has helped reduce early leaf spot in experiments conducted
for six years at North Carolina State University, Boudreau reported.
Most peanut diseases are highly selective, and other crops can block
disease spread. Straw mulching seems help, perhaps by interfering
with inoculum splash (dispersal), he said.
In South Carolina, farmer Emile DeFelice plans to let his pastured
pork forage the peanut fields after harvest to help reduce overwintering
disease habitat. “Diseases are still a major obstacle for
organic peanuts in the South, but now we have the tools to manage
many of our important diseases pretty well,” Culbreath said.