Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jayhawk's kernel defect

When we first started to evaluate Jayhawk, we were hoping that this cultivar would represent and improvement over its parent cultivar, Giles. Well, the data is now coming in. The first thing we noticed about Jayhawk was that it was scab resistant, while Giles is not. Nut size and yield of Jayhawk and Giles are very similar. Unfortunately, after cracking out nut samples we found that Jayhawk kernels suffer from the same defects we see with Giles kernels. If Jayhawk or Giles nuts suffer from a lack of moisture during kernel fill (late august to early sept) nut meats take on a mottled appearance (photo above) and become very dry tasting.  How disappointing! I was so enthused about the scab resistance of Jayhawk that I almost overlooked the importance of a cultivar being able to produce a quality kernel under a wide range of weather conditions.