The Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center in Plains, Georgia, held its annual Corn, Cotton, Peanuts and Soybean Field Day on Aug. 20, 2014. Administrators and researchers from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences were on hand to update farmers on the research being conducted at the Plains research station.
Bill Branch, University of Georgia peanut breeder, kicked off the field day with a presentation on high-yielding peanut varieties. Twelve varieties were presented with descriptions of character traits, yield potential, release date, etc. Branch also discussed the introduction of Georgia-13M, a new high-yielding, high-oleic, TSWV-resistant, small-seeded, runner-type variety released by the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations in 2013. According to the Georgia Seed Development Authority, during three-years averaged over multiple location tests in Georgia, Georgia-13M had significantly less total disease incidence and greater dollar value return per acre compared to four other high-oleic, runner-type varieties. At this time, Georgia-13M is a protected peanut variety that can only be sold as a class of certified seed and only by individuals licensed by the University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGARF) under guidelines established in conjunction with the Georgia Seed Development Authority.
John Gassett with UGA’s Griffin campus discussed peanut variety trials. Gassett said the college manages 15,000 plots per year with various commodities. These plots are located at various research stations across the state. Each research station is unique in that the soil type varies at each. Gassett showed some of the variety trials currently being done at the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center. Gassett also mentioned the peanut, tobacco and cotton publications. Through these publications, research data dating back to 1997 is available. This data can be found at www.swvt.uga.edu.
Scott Tubbs, UGA cropping systems agronomist, presented his research on peanut cropping systems at the Plains research station. His current research on this topic is a second phase from research conducted last year on replanting decisions and plant populations. This year, he is looking at non-uniformed gaps in the field and how it affects yields with low and high populations. Tubbs said a high population would be around three plants per foot and a high population would be around 15 plants per foot. He has already begun planning for phase three of this project. Phase three will take this data and compare uniform and non-uniform gaps in the field.
To conclude presentations on peanuts, Scott Monfort, UGA’s newly-hired peanut agronomist, gave a crop update. Monfort believes irrigated peanuts will turn out well, while dryland peanuts do not look promising. He has had a few calls related to plants producing no peanuts. Monfort’s response to this is to have insurance adjusters come out to farms now and take a look at the crop. He is also encouraging farmers not to mix dryland and irrigated peanuts at harvest. Overall, he believes it will be an interesting year with the potential of a split crop.
By Jessie Turk, Georgia Peanut Commission