"'$ B~g~ ~I :
A. J. Norden, H. A. D. Chesney, A. P. Stephenson
Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
J. W. Sites, Dean for Research
It is certainly a source of great pleasure for me to present
to our farmers a peanut variety which is well adapted to Guyana
and areas of a similar tropical environment.
Guyana, like so many other developing countries, is making
a major effort to modernize her agriculture and at the same
time to reduce the dependence of the economy on too narrow a
range of crops-in our case rice and sugar-through the intro-
duction of other agricultural enterprises. The release of this
peanut variety has represented the first major break-through
in the release of a variety of a crop outside of sugar and rice.
The variety "Altika" is being released at a very opportune
time. This is the period of the second "Grow More Food Cam-
paign." The first campaign was during World War II, when
it was extremely difficult to obtain food from abroad, and the
country was forced to feed itself. Today, although there is no
world war, the need for more food is as great as it was nearly
30 years ago. Indeed, one of the major objectives of the state
is "to feed itself."
Apart from its effects on the "Grow More Food Campaign,"
the release of this variety has shown that through international
co-operation, the speed of agricultural research in developing
countries could be greatly increased. In this case "Altika" was
derived from a cross done some 12 years ago, thereby saving a
decade of breeding work for Guyana. Finally, working with
this variety has helped in the further development of research
technology within the Guyana Ministry of Agriculture.
The people of Guyana are indeed grateful to the Government
and people of the United States of America, the University of
Florida, and the United States Agency for International Devel-
opment for this gesture in releasing, under a Guyanese name, a
variety of peanut which will assist in the diversification of
B. W. Carter
Chief Agricultural Officer
Guyana Ministry of Agriculture
ALTIKA A PEANUT VARIETY FOR THE
A. J. Norden, H. A. D. Chesney, and A. P. Stephenson1
Guyana, with a population of approximately 700,000 and
occupying an area of 83,000 square miles, is located between 20
and 80 north of the equator. It is bordered by Venezuela on
the west, Surinam on the east, and Brazil on the south. Most
of the population live in the coastal region, which at present is
the only area intensively cultivated, and represents only 4%o
of the total land area. Rice and sugarcane are the principal
In 1969, a contract between the Government of Guyana and
USAID and the University of Florida (Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, Center for Tropical Agriculture) was
activated to provide technical assistance to Guyana in diver-
sifying and developing its agricultural economy. The program
was designed to assist in the development of the "intermediate
savannahs," an area of about 300,000 acres lying immediately
southwest of the coastal belt in northeast Guyana. The Ebini
Research Station, where most of the peanut research work in
Guyana was conducted, is located in the savannah region near
the Berbice River about 80 miles south of New Amsterdam.
The Altika variety is named after a creek in the savannahs
The "intermediate savannahs" are characterized by a mean
annual temperature of about 800F with a high in October of
about 83F and a low in January of about 780F. The maximum
variation in day length at the Ebini Station is only 38 minutes.
The mean annual rainfall is 90 inches with a bimodal distribu-
tion resulting in two wet and two dry seasons per year as
Long wet season mid April through August
Long dry season September through November
Short wet season December through January
Short dry season February to mid April
SProfessor, Agronomy Department, University of Florida, Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, Florida; Principal Agricul-
tural Officer (Research) and Agricultural Officer, Ministry of Agriculture,
Guyana, South America.
The main soils of the "intermediate savannahs" are grouped
together as "brown sands" consisting of three soil types ranging
in texture from sands (Tabela sand- Series #800) through
loamy sands (Kasarama-Series #810) to sandy loam (Ebini-
Series #820). The sands are very permeable and have high
acidity, low exchange capacities, and low base saturations. Low
soil fertility is the main factor limiting peanut production;
however, pest control is also critical.
Peanuts are utilized in Guyana as raw and salted nuts and
as peanut butter. However, they are grown in small garden
plots, and production has been insufficient to supply the people's
needs, with the result that Guyana has been importing over a
million pounds of peanut products annually. In 1969, Guyana
imported 973,746 pounds of peanuts valued at G2 $350,570,
120,244 pounds of peanut butter valued at G $99,501, and vege-
table oils valued at G $1,837,928. More than three-fourths of
Guyana's peanut product imports were from Europe, Africa,
and Canada and less than 10% from the USA.
Peanuts have been grown experimentally at the Ebini Re-
search Station since 1962. Experiments conducted during the
period 1962 to 1968 were concerned primarily with cultural
problems associated with the low level of plant nutrients in the
soil and the rainfall patterns during certain periods of the year.
The studies established that peanuts were ecologically suited
to the climate and soils of the "intermediate savannahs." In
1969, a series of trials were initiated which included the most
widely grown peanut varieties of the United States, advanced
breeding lines from Florida, and the best of the locally grown
varieties, AK 62 (FAO 11899). The variety trials were con-
ducted on the three main soil types in both the long and the
short rainy seasons in 1969 and 1970.
The Altika peanut variety, tested experimentally as F 427B
or F 427 BV, resulted from a cross made in 1959 in Gainesville,
Florida, between F 393-7-1 and Georgia 119-20. F 393-7-1, the
female parent, was derived from a cross between a Florispan
derivative and Jenkins Jumbo and has runner growth habit
with large pods and seed of the Virginia type. The seed of
F 393-7-1 are of high quality, but the pods are unattractive due
to excessive pubescence which causes soil to cling to them at
2 G Guyanese dollars; two Guyanese dollars approximate one U.S. dollar.
Figure 1.-Plants of Altika at harvest showing the characteristically bright
clean pods clustered about the main stem.
harvest. The male parent, Ga 119-20, was developed in Georgia
from a cross between Southeastern Runner and a large-seeded
strain of Virginia Runner. Plants of Ga 119-20 have an upright
growth habit and are densely branched. Ga 119-20 has large
attractive pods clustered around the base of the plant.
Altika, bred and developed in Florida and currently in the
11th generation, traces to an F5 plant row selection. The line
was entered in USDA Regional Yield Tests in 1968 but was
removed from the tests in 1969, because the pods were too small
for market classification as Virginia peanuts, and its yielding
ability was not significantly different from other strains of
Virginia type peanuts tested.
Plants of Altika have a bunch growth habit with the typical
sequential branching pattern (alternate pairs of reproductive
and vegetative nodes on the side branches and no fruiting nodes
on the terminal branch) of Virginia botanical-type peanuts.
Under close spacing, the plants are tall and fairly erect with
Table 1.-Comparative yield (pounds per acre unshelled peanuts) of Altlka and AK62 from long (April through August) and short
(November through February) rainy season variety trials on three different soil types at the Ebini Research Station,
Trial Soil Type and Year1 Variety Mean
Season Variety Tabella sand #800 Kasarama loamy sand #810 Ebini sandy loam #820 Two Year
1969 1970 1969 1970 1969 1970 1969 1970 Mean
LONG Altika 4448 3399a 4110 2721a 4399 3680a 4319 3267 3793
RAINY AK62 1838 1106b 1645 2208b 1934 1805b 1805 1706 1756
SEASON Soil type mean 3143 2252 2878 2465 3167 2743 3062 2487 2775
SHORT Altika 2502a 2428 2355a 1090 2257a 5190 2371 2903 2637
RAINY AK 62 3630a 1209 2649a 821 2600a 2967 2960 1665 2313
SEASON Soil type mean 3067 1819 2502 955 2429 4078 2665 2284 2475
1Yield data represents the mean of six replications per year at each location. Data for the 1969 long rainy season through the cour-
tesy of C. F. Hazenberg, former USAID Agronomist, and J. F. Whyte, Technical Assistant in Agronomy, Ministry of Agriculture,
Guyana. Yield data followed by the same letter are not significantly different within the soil type at the 5% level with Duncan's
multiple range test.
the pods clustered about the main stem, similar to the locally
grown Valencia-type variety, AK 62 (Figure 1). Altika, how-
ever, has more and finer branches with darker green foliage
than AK 62 and appears to be more resistant to Cercospora leaf
spot disease than other varieties (Figure 2). This latter charac-
teristic has also been observed in Florida trials.
Pods of Altika are two-seeded similar to Florigiant, but
somewhat smaller (Figure 3). The hulls of Altika are free of
pubescence, thicker and brighter than Florigiant. Altika pods
are distinguishable in that three-fourths of the pods exhibit a
marked angular enlargement on the dorsal suture at the basal
end. Because of this characteristic, the apical seed is generally
more elongated and slightly flattened at the basal end. There-
fore, about one-third of the seed of the Altika variety are slightly
flattened on one end. Pods of AK 62 generally contain three to
four seeds having deep red seed-coat color. The light-pink col-
ored seed coats of Altika are somewhat indented or pitted com-
pared to smooth unblemished seed coats of AK 62 and Florigiant
In Guyana tests Altika matured from one day to two weeks
earlier than Florigiant and somewhat later than AK 62. In
Florida tests during the 1968-70 seasons Altika plants were har-
vested one to two days later than Florigiant, from 135 to 140
days after planting. Harvest maturity for the Altika variety
may be determined by the dark brown color of the inside of the
shell, which is also used to judge the maturity of the Valencia
variety, AK 62. Harvest maturity for Florigiant, as with many
other Runner and Virginia type varieties, is usually determined
by the development of a deep pink color of the seed coat. Over
80% of Altika pods and similarly the Valencia variety AK 62
will exhibit a dark brown, nearly black, color on the inside of
the shell at maturity as shown in Figure 3. In comparison, ap-
proximately 10 % of the Florigiant pods will show a light brown
coloration on the inside of the shell at harvest time.
YIELD AND SEED QUALITY
Altika yields were more than double those of the local va-
riety, AK 62, in the long rainy season trials conducted on the
three main soil types of the "intermediate savannahs" in 1969
and 1970 (Table 1). The average yield of Altika for the six
trials in the long rainy season is 3793 pounds per acre compared
Figure 2.-Increase rows of Altika at Gainesville, Florida, showing the
spreading bunch growth habit and deep green color of the foliage (July 1968).
Figure 3.-Pods and seed of Altika, the local variety (AK 62), and Flori-
giant, obtained from a 1969 Guyana yield test on Tabela sand. Note the
thicker shells and darker brown color on the inside of the shells of Altika.
Also, note the slightly pitted seed coats of Altika compared with Florigiant.
AK 62 is distinctive in having three to four seeds per pod with dark red seed
coats compared with two seeds per pod and light-pink seed coats for Altika.
with 1756 pounds per acre for AK 62. In tests conducted dur-
ing the short rainy season, Altika averaged 2637 pounds per
acre compared with 2313 pounds per acre for AK 62. However,
in the 1969 short season trials, AK 62 outyielded Altika, indi-
cating that Altika is better suited to the long season conditions.
In six Florida yield trials during the three-year period 1968-
1970, Altika averaged 3557 pounds per acre compared to 3683
pounds per acre for Florigiant (Table 2). Thus Altika appears
to have a wide range of geographical adaptability.
Grade component data from Florida trials, obtained accord-
ing to procedures of the United States Department of Agricul-
ture on random samples of each variety in each of the three
seasons 1968 through 1970, are presented in Table 3. The pods
of Altika were 71% as large as Florigiant and are marginal
based on USDA standards for Virginia grade. The seeds
(weight per 100 seed and per cent extra large kernels) are
about 85% as large as Florigiant. Altika has a lower percent-
age of damaged seed than Florigiant; and the incidence of pod
Table 2.-Yield comparison of Altika and Florigiant in variety tests at Gaines-
ville and Marianna, Florida, for the three years 1968-70.
Yield of Unshelled Peanuts (pounds per acre)
Year Variety Gainesville Marianna- locations
1968 Altika 4021 3226 3624
Florigiant 4423 3640 4032
1969 Altika 3122 2935 3029
Florigiant 3056 2851 2954
1970 Altika 3210 4842 4026
Florigiant 3282 4860 4071
3-year Altika 3449 3665 3557
Average Florigiant 3585 3782 3683
1 Data represents the mean of four to six replications per year at each location.
2 Marianna data supplied by R. W. Lipscomb and D. W. Gorbet.
rot, although not shown in Table 3, has been considerably less
in Altika. Because of its thicker shells the shelling percent of
Altika is somewhat lower than for Florigiant (68% compared
with 72% for Florigiant). This relationship in pod and seed
size and in shelling per cent has been corroborated in peanuts
harvested at Kairuni, Guyana, and at Marianna, Florida. Larger
quantities of Altiki ranging from 2500 to 5500 pounds shelled
at a commercial shelling plant in March 1970 and in February
1971 gave a shell-out percentage of 62.2 and 66.4, respectively.
Chemical composition of peanuts is important because it has
a bearing on the stability (shelf-life) of peanut products and
on human nutrition. The chemical composition of peanuts is
generally less affected by season and location variations than
are other characteristics such as plant growth and yield. Iodine
value is an indication of the saturation level of the oil and is
negatively related to keeping quality. Altika peanuts possess
a slightly lower iodine value than Florigiant (Table 4). Altika
also has a wider ratio of oleic to linoleic acid than does Flori-
giant, which means that the shelf-life stability of Altika peanut
products should be better than Florigiant.
Processing and Flavor Quality
Samples of Altika peanuts from the 1969 Florida crop were
processed into finished products and were rated acceptable in
blanching and roasting. The roasted peanuts were then eval-
uated by the Department of Food Science, University of Florida.
No statistically significant differences were found when the two
varieties, Altika and Florigiant, were judged on aroma, color,
flavor, and texture.
In a boiling peanut taste test conducted in 1967, the Altika
variety rated first among the six Florida selections grown on
a Florida farm that year. Altika possesses a number of other
characteristics that might make it desirable as a boiling peanut
in Florida. Its bunch plants produce a high yield of bright pods
clustered near the tap root (Figure 1), which is a time-saving
factor for home gardeners in the process of manually separating
the pods from the plants. In addition its seed are relatively low
in the per cent of concealed damage.
PRODUCTION POINTERS FOR GROWING ALTIKA PEANUTS
Altika peanuts do best on a light textured, well drained and
aerated soil type as is characteristic of Tabela sand. The heavier
soils retard penetration of the fruit pegs and expansion of the
developing nuts, and this often results in excessive loss of pods
during harvest. Also, on heavier soils the pods will be darker
and less attractive due to soil clinging to them. The crop should
be grown in rotation following a grass crop such as corn or
sorghum. Avoid, when possible, planting peanuts following
peanuts or soybeans and most other broadleafed crops.
The soil should be tested early enough so that if dolomitic
limestone is needed it may be applied at least two months before
planting. Peanuts need a pH maintained at 5.7 to 6.4. If the soil
pH is below 5.7, then apply 100 to 200 pounds per acre of dolo-
mitic limestone for each 0.1 pH unit below 5.7.
The land should be turned so that all crop residues and weeds
are buried deeply to lessen problems with soil-borne diseases
and suppress weeds. The following fertilizers and rates have
been generally effective in producing good yields when applied
at planting on the sandy soils of the "intermediate savannahs":
Sulphate of Ammonia (20.5% N) 80 lbs/a
Sulphate of Potash (48% K20) 200 lbs/a
Table 3.-Comparative seed quality and seed size of Altika and Florigiant at Gainesville, Florida, for the three seasons 1968-1970.'
Shriveled Per Cent Seed Damaged
Seed" Visible Concealed Total
Shelling per 100
Per Cent Seed:
1.6 1.7 1.5 3.2 67.8 80.1 32.0 62.5 3120 2003
80.9 1.6 3.8 3.8 7.6 72.4
90.7 38.5 63.2 3141
1 Mean of six tests (two tests per year) of six replications each. Grade component data represents the mean of three mechanically
shelled 200-g samples per test.
- Per cent Virginia pods is the per cent of pods riding presizer rollers spaced 34/64 inch apart.
Per cent shriveled seed is the per cent of seed that pass through a 15/64 x 1 inch slotted screen.
Per cent extra large kernels is the per cent of the kernels that ride a 21.5/64 x 1 inch slotted screen.
Triple Superphosphate (45% P205) 180 lbs/a
Fritted Trace Elements (F.T.E. 181 or equivalent) 20 lbs/a
Thirty days after planting the crop should be side-dressed
with 165 pounds per acre of Muriate of Potash (60% K20) and
at early flowering 500 pounds per acre of Gypsum (CaSO4)
should be applied over the pegging zone to reduce the number
of empty pods (pops).
For most profitable production peanuts should utilize nitro-
gen obtained from symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The bac-
teria known to effectively inoculate peanuts also inoculate a wide
variety of other legumes such as cowpeas, crotalaria, kudzu,
pigeonpea, velvetbean, lima bean, mung bean, and hairy indigo.
Soybean inoculum, however, is specific for soybeans. Thus, if
peanuts or any of the legumes in the cowpea cross-inoculation
group have been grown on the land in recent years, the land
would not need to be re-inoculated for the peanut crop. Because
some of the fungicides used in the seed treatments are detri-
mental to the Rhizobia bacteria, it is preferable to inoculate the
soil with the proper inoculum before planting the peanuts rather
Table 4.-Percent oil and oil quality comparisons of Altika and Florigiant pea-
nuts grown at Gainesville during the three seasons, 1968-70.
Year Three Year
Variety 1968' 19632 1970: Mean
Altika 92 92 92 92
Florigiant 94 92 94 93
Altika 51.2 50.9 49.6 50.7
Florigiant 52.1 51.7 51.5 51.9
% Oleic Acid
Altika 63.7 61.1 64.1 62.5
Florigiant 58.7 53.9 54.2 55.2
/o Linoleic Acid
Altika 20.5 22.5 20.0 21.4
Florigiant 26.7 24.9 26.0 25.6
1 1968 data represents the mean of tests from Corn Products Company labora-
tories and the University of Florida.
2 1969 data represents combined reports from Corn Products Company labora-
tories, USDA evaluations, Derby Foods laboratories, and the University of
3 1970 data from the University of Florida.
than coating the seeds with inoculum at planting. The proper
Rhizobia bacteria may be placed in the soil prior to planting
peanuts in several ways, such as by direct drilling of a mixture
of inoculum and sand into the soil prior to planting peanuts, or
by growing a properly inoculated legume of the cowpea inoc-
ulation group as a green manure crop during a season preceding
Altika peanut seed have a dormancy period of at least 75
days after maturity before it will germinate under average field
conditions. This is in contrast to local variety, AK 62, which
has no seed dormancy and will germinate when mature if soil
moisture conditions are satisfactory.
The peanut seed should be treated prior to planting with a
suitable fungicide for control of seedling diseases. Altika should
be planted at the rate of 3 to 4 seeds per foot of row. Leafspot
control must begin by fungicide spray or dusts at the first sign
of leafspot infection and continue at 10-day to 2-week intervals
until within a few weeks of harvest. Insecticides should be in-
corporated into the spray as needed for foliage-feeding cater-
pillars and other insects. In some areas there is need for a soil
insecticide at planting for control of mole crickets.
Chemical weed control should be used if weeds are expected.
However, in the "intermediate savannahs" weeds are usually
not a problem until after the second or third crop.
Altika peanuts should be dug when 80% to 90% of the pods
exhibit a dark brown color on the inside of the shell. The plants
should dry in the windows for one to three days before picking
or until the kernels "rattle" within the shell. The "semi-dry"
peanuts should be dried immediately after picking and then
stored in weatherproof storage facilities free from insect and
Distribution of seed in Guyana is being handled by the Min-
istry of Agriculture, Central Agricultural Station, Mon Repos,
East Coast Demerara, Guyana, S.A. Small quantities for ex-
perimental purposes may be obtained by contacting the Agron-
omy Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
The authors wish to express appreciation to the following persons of
the Guyana Ministry of Agriculture: B. W. Carter for guidance and
J. Whyte and H. Ramroop for technical assistance. The assistance of the
following present and former USAID/Guyana personnel, C. B. Padgett,
B. H. Mayfield, and C. F. Hazenberg, is also acknowledged.
The authors wish to thank the following University of Florida IFAS
personnel: H. C. Wood and T. J. DeMuynk of the Agronomy Department,
Gainesville, for technical assistance; R. W. Lipscomb (retired) and D. W.
Gorbet of the Agricultural Research Center, Marianna, for the use of
yield data obtained at their station; W. A. Carver (retired) Agronomy
Department, Gainesville, for assistance and advice in early stages of de-
velopment of the variety; R. A. Dennison, Department of Food Science,
for conducting sensory evaluations; D. H. Block, Agronomy Department,
Gainesville, for the chemical analyses; H. L. Popenoe, Center for Tropical
Agriculture and G. 0. Mott, for coordinating and handling the arrange-
ments; W. S. Blomeley and H. K. Huseman of the Editorial Department
and J. E. Swearingen, of the Agronomy Department, for assistance with
the photographs and art work.
The authors are also grateful to personnel of the USDA, ARS, W. K.
Bailey, C. E. Holaday and J. L. Pearson, for their assistance and obser-
vations, and to the numerous individuals and the companies whose help
made this work possible.