Comparison of Virginia and Runner-Type Peanut Cultivars for Yield Potential and Grading Factors under Optimum and Limited Irrigation


Virginia Polytechnic Intitute and State University

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Water deficit, i.e., rainfall amounts and distribution, is the most common abiotic stress that limits peanut (Arachis hypogea L.) production in Virginia-Carolina (VC) region. Severe drought events are not common in the VC region, but even in good "rainy" years shmt drought episodes may have negative effects on peanut yield and quality. Indeed, our previous results suggest that in good "rainy" years such as in 2011 yield can be 0 to 10% less in rainfed versus irrigated plots, depending on the peanut cultivar. Daljit Singh, M.S. student is now preparing his Thesis using this information. Under historically moist conditions, over 90% of the current peanut farming is rainfed in the VC area. In previous projects funded by the National Peanut Board, we attempted to improve peanut tolerance to short drought episodes by application of soil and foliar anti-stressors (AS) as a quick fix. Unfo1iunately, this approach does not seem practical because high amounts of AS are needed to induce tolerance in plants necessitating high costs of application. It appears that the only option to increase peanut production under rainfed cropping systems and in dry years is by using peanut cultivars more tolerant to drought. At this time, we do not know which the most draught tolerant virginia-type cultivars are. 

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