Novel approaches to establish rhizome peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth) on bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) pasture: from research to on-farm application
This project is testing novel approaches to establish rhizoma peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth) on bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) pastures. We selected four producers in strategic locations of Florida Panhandle, North-Central Florida, and South Florida. The producers and their respective locations are: 1) Mr. Mack Glass, Marianna, FL; 2) Mr. Larry Rooks, Inverness, FL; 3) Dr. Michael Fields, Bushnell, FL; and 4) Mr. Glen Emerson, Wauchula, FL. Using a participatory approach and based on our research objectives, we established four on-farm trials, one at each farm. We tested two rhizoma peanut cultivars (Florigraze and Ecoturf) using different establishment methods (no-till and prepared soil). Rhizoma peanut was strip-planted into bahiagrass pastures. In each on-farm trial, treatments were replicated four times. Plots were established in June 2014 in all four participant farms. After establishment, three evaluations were performed from June to November 2014, using indirect measurements to measure rhizoma peanut establishment and soil cover. In 2015, we are planning to collect yield data and measure N2-fixation by the rhizoma peanut. We are also planning to host at least one field day in one of the four locations. In 6 June 2015, the North Florida Research and Education Center will host the perennial peanut association field day. We are planning to include one of our producers on the farmer’s panel to report the experience that we are having. The ultimate goal is to find fast and cost-effective ways to establish rhizoma peanut in warm-season pastures of Southeast USA.
Our general objective is to find fast and cost-effective ways to establish rhizoma peanut onto existing bahiagrass pastures, reducing the use of synthetic N fertilizer and improving overall forage quality. We are trying different approaches. The strip-planting will reduce establishment cost because of reduced planted area. At the end of these on-farm trial, we will know the best method and rhizoma peanut cultivar to establish in different ecological regions of the State of Florida. Our target audience are beef producers who have their livestock operation based on pastures, which are the majority of Florida livestock producers. Year 1 was the establishment year. In the second year, harvest data will be collected and that will give support for the elaboration of educational material, organization of field days, blogs, and extension articles, increasing the outreach of our results.
In Year 1, we selected the farmers and used a participatory approach to have their inputs in the project. We also established the four trials, in different ecological regions of Florida. Several visits were necessary before and after establishing the trials in order to select and prepare the area, discuss strategies with producers, establish the plots, and perform visual evaluations. In each location, three assessments were performed after the establishment. In Year 2, with data collected across the four sites, educational and outreach material will be prepared.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Because we are still at the initial phase of the projects, impacts and outcomes are reduced. After we start collecting more data on biomass production and N2-fixation, the impact of this research might be enormous. Currently there are 2 million acres of bahiagrass in Florida. Establishment of a warm-season perennial legume will reduce the use of synthetic N fertilizer, not only alleviating the costs for producers but reducing C footprint of livestock production systems in Florida.
UF/IFAS – NFREC
3925 Highway 71
Marianna, FL 32446
Office Phone: 8503949124
Rooks Ranch, 7725 South Pleasant Grove Road
Inverness, FL 34452
Office Phone: 3525850095
Emerson Ranch, 1680 Dansey Road
Wauchula, FL 33873
Office Phone: 8139178429
Research Foundation Professor of Grassland Science
3111 McCarty Hall B
Gainesville, FL 32611
Office Phone: 3522733420
4629 South US 301
Bushnell, FL 33513
Office Phone: 3525386292
UF/IFAS – Range Cattle Research and Education Center
3401 Experiment Station
Ona, FL 33865
Office Phone: 8637351314
Cherokee Ranch, 1525 Fairview Road
Marianna, FL 32448
Office Phone: 8505794641