Kelly Dawn Chamberlin, USDA-ARS, Stillwater, OK, Rebecca S Bennett, USDA ARS, Stillwater, OK and John Damicone, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
The fatty acid composition of peanuts has become increasingly important with the realization that oleic acid content significantly affects the development of rancidity. It has been determined that a high O/L in peanut results in an increased shelf life (up to 10 times) and improved flavor when compared to a normal O/L ratio. Furthermore, food products containing these high oleic oils have been shown to be nutritionally beneficial. For these and other reasons, the peanut industry demands high oleic peanuts. Peanut cultivars grown in the Southwestern U.S. are predominately high-oleic. However, only marginal resistance to yield reducing diseases such as Sclerotinia blight and pod rot complex have been reported for those high-oleic cultivars available for production. The recent releases of OLé (spanish-type), VENUS (virginia-type), and Lariat (runner-type) now offer producers disease-resistant, high-oleic peanut cultivars in three market-types. Results from Oklahoma field trials conducted in three locations for 5 years indicate that compared to other high-oleic cultivars grown in the same region, OLé, VENUS and Lariat all demonstrate a significant reduction in Sclerotinia blight incidence under high-disease pressure (66%, 61% and 55% less, respectively). All three cultivars also demonstrate a significant increase in pod rot complex resistance compared to other high-oleic cultivars of their respective market-type. Production of any of these three cultivars under conditions of high-disease pressure in the Southwestern U.S. will increase profit margins by a projected $100-$200/acre for peanut producers by reducing pesticide applications needed for disease management.