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What is Perennial Peanut?

The Perennial Peanut is a high-quality persistent tropical forage legume which 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 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 has the potential to persist indefinitely. Perennial peanut is planted using rhizomes, or underground stems, dug from a nursery planting. It does not require nitrogen fertilizer, and once established, can be maintained with low level management. Hay yields in north Florida range from 3-5 tons per year for well-established stands. Quality and uses are so similar to that of 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 nor does it require applied nitrogen as do traditional grass forages. These characteristics make perennial peanut an environmentally sound, low resource consuming crop that ranks it as an important component for sustainable agricultural systems.


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