Peanut Crop Doing Well With Rains, But Not Hay
Extension Agent - Livestock/Ag
Santa Rosa County
Issue/Alert Affecting Crop: Moisture in Santa Rosa County is considered excellent, but eastern areas in the panhandle are getting dry. The only producers not happy with the showers are our hay producers. The peanut crop is looking good, many of our acres are just about to lap. Some producers are coming up on their second fungicide application
Photo Credits: John Atkins
What does the Specialist Say: The old adage "make hay while the sun shines" was written for Florida hay producers. Options to handle the consistent afternoon showers during the summer months include the ability to either graze, or ensile the forage when haying is not an option.
Mower conditions typically cut down on the drying time to cure hay. However having silage equipment available, and an established market for silage or haylage, is an asset to any Florida hay operation.
Another option, particularly with Tifton 85 Bermudagrass operations, is have the fields fenced and graze stock should weather eliminate a hay cutting or when silage or haylage is not feasible. Tifton 85 Bermudagrass gets rank in a four week window and loses its quality quickly. Having livestock for grazing or silage equipment available is some insurance when weather interferes. Ann R. Blount, Associate Professor, Forage Breeding and Genetics, North Florida Research and Education Center.