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Peanut Variety Evaluation and Crop Physiology



The Tidewater AREC is the base location for the peanut variety and quality evaluation (PVQE) program, which is lead by Dr. Maria Balota. This is a multi-state program that evaluates new cultivars and breeding lines of Virginia market-type peanut for agronomic production, processing and food chemistry characteristics. The program involves production test sites in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, which constitute the principle region for production of Virginia market-type peanuts. 

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Crop Physiologist, Maria Balota gives leadership to this program that includes collaboration with scientists from Virginia Tech, NC State, Clemson, Tidewater AREC, graduate students, cooperating growers, and technical staff with funding support from commodity board, industry, and other competitive grants. In addition this program is developing new research in crop physiology with emphasis on heat and cold tolerance and drought stress tolerance. Selected examples of current research topics include:

  • Peanut variety and quality evaluation for assessment and release of new peanut cultivars for the Virginia-Carolina production region.
  • Development of peanut varieties with increased drought tolerance for the Virginia-Carolina production region.
  • Assessment of new grain sorghum varieties under southeastern Virginia growing conditions.
  • Evaluation and application for release of a new large seeded peanut variety with enhanced potential in niche and specialty peanut markets.

The primary extension goal is to maintain agricultural profitability through selection and use of the highest yielding and water-use efficient varieties of peanut and sorghum. Another emphasis of this program is to help growers understand peanut maturity and optimum harvest time throughout the Virginia peanut growing area. This program helps growers to determine each year the time and order of harvesting their peanut fields for reduced yield loss to pod broken off.

Recent Updates

Peanut Production Guide, 2020.pdf