Field day to feature perennial peanuts

The Fourth Annual Perennial Peanut Producers Field Day will be held Saturday, May 22, at Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga. Spence Field is the site of the Sunbelt Expo.

Registration for the field day will be from 8:00 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. The program will proceed as follows: 9-9:30 a.m., Weed Identification & Control in Perennial Peanuts — Eric Protsko, University of Georgia; 9:30-10:00 a.m., Sprayer Setup & Calibration — Don Clark, Thomas County, Ga., Extension coordinator; 11:00-11:30 a.m., Perennial Peanut Establishment and Management for Hay Production — Clay Olson, Taylor County, Fla., Extension coordinator; 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Use of Ornamental Perennial Peanut Varieties in the Landscape — Jerry Stegman, Sunset Specialty Turf; 12:00-12:30 p.m., Lunch sponsored by Thomas County 4-H. After lunch, a field demonstration will be conducted by Darrell Williams, Sunbelt Expo farm manager.

Perennial peanut is a high-quality, persistent tropical forage legume that can be grazed or fed to horses, dairy and beef cattle, hogs, goats, sheep, and rabbits. It can be stored as dry hay or silage and is an ideal substitute for imported alfalfa. Florigraze and Arbrook cultivars of perennial peanut, or rhizoma peanut, as it is sometimes called, have been selected in Florida for their high-yield, quality, persistence, disease resistance, and drought tolerance.

Perennial peanut is well adapted to dry, sandy soils, and to date, appears to persist indefinitely. Perennial peanut is planted using rhizomes, or underground stems, dug from a nursery planting. Hay yields in north Florida range from 3 to 5 tons per acre per year for well established stands. Quality and uses are so similar to alfalfa that perennial peanut has been coined “Florida's alfalfa.”

Perennial peanut grows well in Florida, south Georgia and southern portions of the Gulf states. It requires no pesticides for control of insects or diseases, and fertility requirements mirror its close relative, the common peanut. These characteristics make perennial peanut an environmentally sound, low energy-consuming crop, which ranks it as an important component for sustainable agricultural systems.

For directions to Spence Field call 229-985-1968 or visit For more information about the field day, call or e-mail Clay Olson at 850-838-3508 or [email protected].

Florida and Georgia pesticide license holders may apply for Continuing Education Units (CEU's) when attending this event.

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