A new peanut sheller is coming to Vernon, Texas. Texas A&M AgriLife Foundation Seed, a branch of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, is in the midst of finishing the sheller, which is set to have a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 2, 2021.
Dr. Richard Vierling, the manager of Texas Foundation Seed, said the sheller will provide multiple benefits to AgriLife and the peanut industry.
“It will be useful in plant breeding,” Vierling said. “We are going to be able to test varieties early on for their shelling abilities. When a breeder is getting ready to release new varieties, we are going to be able to do a better job processing that seed and making sure that it is genetically pure and do a good job not damaging the seed. Lastly, it is going to be available to companies for specialty processing.”
Vierling said that identity preservation is another great benefit the sheller will provide. Food manufactures can choose to participate in identity preservation peanut production and contract with farmers to produce a specific variety.
Vierling said this is a good opportunity for producers to participate in identity preservation production, which can end up being more profitable than just commodity production.
“The opportunity for identity preserved production will have benefits all along the chain – from the seed supplier company, to the producer, to the food company – they can all grab benefits from identity preservation,” Vierling said.
Overall, Vierling said the sheller will be able to be used throughout the entire life of the breeding process. He said AgriLife is now better equipped to breed for shelling and they will be able to begin looking at the processing characteristics of a variety, which will help increase efficiency across the industry and increase the number of acres in Texas.
“So, we can start breeding for both the farmer and the peanut shellers and the food companies,” Vierling said. “So, you know, that’s big. That is going to change the way we do our breeding.”