My, they do grow old quickly. Am I talking about children? No, although it fits them as well. I’m talking about varieties. In the Peanut Pointer column on page 21, Kris Balkcom, agri-program associate with Auburn University, makes the point that Georgia-06G is more than 10 year’s old.
More than a decade old? It seems like just yesterday Georgia Green covered every acre. Now, a quick look at the Georgia Crop Improvement Association’s acreage planted in 2016 to produce Foundation, Registered and Certified Seed for 2017 show that 91 percent of the acreage went into Georgia-06G. Balkcom’s concern is that incidence of TSWV has increased in the last couple years, and producers need to spread the risk with additional variety options.
Pathogens adapt and change over time. We all know this. In talking with Barry Tillman, University of Florida peanut breeder, he says that it is possible for pathogens to adapt to a new variety over time, but another explanation includes the environment in which peanuts are grown–and that’s not just weather, but soil types and other factors as well.
In other words, it could be that the environment for spotted wilt is improving so producers are seeing more of it in the field. The bottom line is that TSWV has not gone away and it is best to maintain vigilance against the disease with variety choice, twin rows, mid-May planting, phorate, and good plant stands, all of those practices that will keep fields in a low- to medium-risk category based on Peanut Rx.
It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket and that means it’s probably time to see what one of the newer varieties can do on your farm.