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Agricultural News

Peanut Smut Could Devastate U.S. Crop

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 09:37:37 CST

Peanut Smut Could Devastate U.S. Crop A stubborn fungus found in Argentina peanut fields could devastate U.S. peanuts but research underway by Dr. Kelly Chamberlin, research biologist and acting research leader at the Wheat, Peanut and other Field Crops Research Unit for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Stillwater, is aimed at developing resistant varieties.

Chamberlin presented her research during the recent Oklahoma Genetics, Inc. annual meeting in Edmond.
She said a fungus called Peanut Smut has devastated the crop in Argentina.

“The U.S. peanut producers have become concerned this smut could spread (from imported peanuts) and impact the crop here,” said Chamberlin .

Chamberlin said the smut affects the pod below the ground and is hidden from view until the plant is dug up. When the pods are broken open there is nothing there but fungus black spores.
This could reduce yields by as much as 75 percent.

The USDA scientist said there are no known fungicides that will stop the smut. The only cure is to develop resistant plants.

“We have been screening (plants) in Argentina for 4 years and we have found significant resistance in about 40 different sources and we’re now incorporating them into cultivars that can be grown in the U.S.,” said Chamberlin.

You can click on the link below to hear Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Editor Sam Knipp’s interview with Dr. Chamberlin.


right-click to download mp3


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