Most veteran peanut farmers in the Southeast will remember the devastating spread of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) in the 1990s. Yields suffered with the spread of the disease and the value of Georgia’s crop was reduced more than 10 percent. Nearly every variety grown back then was susceptible to the virus and a flood of cultivars were developed to incorporate resistance.
But TSWV is hardly the only disease researchers and growers are affected by. White mold, leaf spot, root knot nematodes and many others can also impact crop quality. As breeders are developing new cultivars, it’s useful to know the resistance or susceptibility levels so that growers can modify their disease management programs. However, many breeding programs can’t afford their own plant pathologists for that evaluation.
The National Peanut Board has funded production research projects to increase efficiencies for farmers since 2001, totaling more than 1,600 projects and $38 million. Now, NPB is taking its commitment to research one step further with the launch of the new Production Research Database, available at nationalpeanutboard.org/more/production-research-database.
The peanut breeding and pathology research team at USDA ARS Center for Peanut Improvement in Stillwater, Okla., has long-term goals to provide the peanut farmers in the southwestern region of the United States continuous seed improvements that have a balance of market desirability and strong resistance to disease.
For peanut farmers in the Virginia-Carolinas region, certain crop diseases have historically been a significant impediment to peanut yields and farm profits. With funding from National Peanut Board (NPB), researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) began addressing this issue by developing disease resistant cultivars through a multi-year, multi-location breading program. The resulting varieties of Bailey, Sugg, Wynn and Sullivan Virginia-type seeds have doubled the yield for farmers in the region, and reduced input costs to treat chronic conditions.
Conventional breeding is a long and laborious process that takes years to bring a new seed to market. That’s why researchers at Texas A&M AgriLife (TAMU) are fast-tracking the breeding process with genomics (targeting genes at the DNA/molecular level) and phenomics (identifying physical characteristics of the plant). Their aim is to resist disease and environmental pressures by screening for genetic and phenomic markers with advantageous characteristics to allow for the quicker development of new varieties.
Jan. 10, 2020– ATLANTA – The National Peanut Board will hold its quarterly Board and committee meetings in Atlanta, Ga., February 11-12, 2020. The Board’s Research Committee will consider requests for FY-20 funding for production research from state peanut producer organizations and universities. Funding production research to make America’s peanut farmers more competitive is a core part of the Board’s mission.
Dan Ward of Clarkton, N.C. is a seventh-generation farmer who has spent a lifetime helping to advance peanut research and promotions by taking time away from his farm to serve as a farmer representative on various industry boards and committees. We sat down with Ward, a former Chairman of the National Peanut Board, to find out what inspired him to spend as much time in the board room as he does in the field. We also asked about some of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry when it comes to production research.
In Fiscal Year 2019, the National Peanut Board (NPB) commissioned an economic study to measure the return of peanut producers’ investments in the marketing and research funding programs managed by the Board. The study, An Economic Evaluation of the National Peanut Board, conducted by Dr. Harry M. Kaiser of Cornell University, found that each dollar invested in the Board’s checkoff program between 2014 and 2018 returned $9.74 to the peanut industry.
June 7, 2019 – ATLANTA, GA – Peanut producers voted overwhelmingly to continue the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Program, administered by the National Peanut Board (NPB), in a referendum conducted by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from April 15 through May 3, 2019. Ninety-three percent of those who voted said “yes” to continuing NPB’s research, marketing and promotion program.
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