THE PERENNIAL PEANUT IS FLORIDA’S ALFALFA

perennial peanutby Jennifer Bearden, UF/IFAS Extension Agent

When you’re looking for a good quality hay source in Florida, don’t overlook perennial peanut hay. Perennial peanut is similar in quality to alfalfa, but has its own benefits. Namely longevity.

You see, producers here in Florida struggle with alfalfa, and most stands last just two to three years. However, perennial peanut stands in our area last for decades.

Depending on how it is managed, perennial peanut hay contains, on average, 13-18 percent crude protein.

There are several great varieties to choose from if you wish to plant some yourself. Florigraze, Arbrook, UF Tito and UF Peace are all good varieties for grazing or hay.

Perennial peanut fields annually can produce up to 5 tons of hay per acre. The only drawback is the cost to plant the fields.

Perennial peanut is planted by a process called sprigging. Rhizomes of perennial peanut are dug from the nursery field and planted in the new field using machinery to put the rhizome 1 to 2 inches below the soil surface. This process costs around $300 per acre.

To learn more about perennial peanut, you can attend the Perennial Peanut Field Day, which begins 9:30 a.m. June 6 at the University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna. See http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/phag/2015/05/08/perennial-peanut-field-day-june-6/ for more information.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Agriculture, Extension, Extension Articles, Extension Connection, Jennifer Bearden article and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s