Perennial Peanut Producers Field Days are scheduled for Milton, Fla., on Saturday, June 3 and Moultrie, Ga., on Saturday, June 10.

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 Arbook 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, it 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 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 the 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.

The schedule for the field days is as follows: 8: to 8:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee; 8:30 to 9 a.m., Mimi Williams, plant material specialist, USDA, Gainesville, Fla., “New Varieties of Perennial Peanut”; 9 to 9:30 a.m., Steve Basford, Grand Ridge, Fla., “Establishment Considerations”; 9:30 to 10:00 a.m., Clay Olson, county Extension director, Taylor County, Fla., “Marketing Strategies with Perennial Peanut”; 10:00 to 10:30 a.m., Break, Vendor Show and Get Lunch Tickets; 10:30 to 11:00 a.m., Curt Lacey, associate professor, University of Georgia, “Economics of Perennial Peanut Production”; 11 to 11:30 a.m., Richard Cone, Cone Farms, Greenville, Fla., “Weed Control Strategies”; 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Larry Halsey, county Extension director, Jefferson County, Fla., Libby Johnson, agricultural Extension agent, Escambia County, Fla., “Sprayer Calibration”; 12 to 1 p.m., Lunch; Evaluation and Visit Exhibitors.

For directions to Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie, Ga., visit www.sunbeltexpo.com. For more information about the event, call or E-mail Clay Olson, 850-838-3508 or cbolson@ufl.edu.

For directions to the University of Florida Milton Campus, call 850-983-5216 or visit http://wfrec.ifas.ufl.edu.

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