• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Copyright
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Abstract
 Foreword
 Acknowledgement
 Summary
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Introduction
 Objectives
 Procedures
 Findings
 Summary and conclusions
 Literature cited






Group Title: Staff report - Florida Agricultural Market Research Center - 15
Title: Acceptance of perennial peanut hay by Florida horsemen
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055247/00001
 Material Information
Title: Acceptance of perennial peanut hay by Florida horsemen
Series Title: Staff report
Alternate Title: Perennial peanut hay
Peanut hay
Physical Description: v, 17 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Degner, Robert L
Locascio, J. David, 1955-
Publisher: Food and Resource Economics Dept., Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1988
 Subjects
Subject: Hay as feed   ( lcsh )
Horses -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 17.
Statement of Responsibility: by Robert L. Degner and J. David Locascio.
General Note: "November 1988."
Funding: Staff report (Florida Agricultural Market Research Center) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055247
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001065053
oclc - 18896303
notis - AFE9108

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Abstract
        Abstract
    Foreword
        Page i
    Acknowledgement
        Page ii
    Summary
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
    List of Tables
        Page v
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Objectives
        Page 3
    Procedures
        Page 3
    Findings
        Page 4
        Horse breeds
            Page 4
            Page 5
        Seasonality of hay feeding
            Page 6
        Hay consumption and variety
            Page 7
            Page 8
        Hay origin and prices paid
            Page 9
        Experience with perennial peanut hay
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
        Willingness to pay for perennial peanut hay
            Page 13
            Page 14
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 15
        Survey highlights
            Page 15
            Page 16
    Literature cited
        Page 17
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida


























ACCEPTANCE OF PERENNIAL PEANUT HAY
BY FLORIDA HORSEMEN

By

Robert L. Degner and J. David Locascio


Staff Report 15


November 1988


Staff papers are circulated without formal review
by the Food and Resource Economics Department.
Content is the sole responsibility of the authors.





Food and Resource Economics Department
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611








ABSTRACT


This research determined the current marketing environment for
perennial peanut hay among horse owners. A telephone survey of 100 horse
owners was conducted. Approximately 3,205 tons of hay were fed to 3,139
horses during the previous year. Coastal and alfalfa hay made up nearly
80 percent of total survey volume. Alfalfa averaged $6.90 per 60 pound
bale, and coastal hay averaged $2.45 per 50 pound bale.

Nearly 90 percent of participating horse owners had no previous
experience with perennial peanut hay. Most have never used perennial
peanut hay, either because they had never heard of it or because there was
not a ready supply to be purchased. Only four of the 100 horse owners
expressed a negative reaction towards trying perennial peanut hay.

Assuming perennial peanut hay's production costs are similar to
alfalfa's, the breakeven price would be approximately $2.90 per 60 pound
bale, given yields of 4.6 tons per acre. Survey respondents utilizing 64
percent of total alfalfa volume and 60 percent of total hay volume
expressed a willingness to pay up to $4.00 per bale for perennial peanut
hay. Based on these projections and respondents' overall positive
attitudes towards using perennial peanut hay, it appears that perennial
peanut hay production could be a profitable north Florida crop.


Key Words: perennial peanut hay, horses, livestock, feed








THE FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL MARKET RESEARCH CENTER


The Florida Agricultural Market Research Center is a part of the

Food and Resource Economics Department. Its purpose is to provide timely,

applied research on current and emerging marketing problems affecting

Florida's agricultural and marine industries. A basic goal of the Center

is to provide organized groups with practical solutions to their marketing

problems. The Center seeks to provide marketing research and related

information to producer organizations, trade associations, and govern-

mental agencies concerned with improving and expanding markets for

Florida's agricultural and marine products.

Client organizations are required to pay direct costs associated with

their research projects. Such costs include labor for personnel and

telephone interviewing, mail surveys, travel, and computer analyses.

Professional time and support is provided at no charge by IFAS.

Professional agricultural economists with specialized training and

experience in marketing participate in every Center project. Cooperating

personnel from other IFAS units are also involved whenever specialized

technical assistance is needed.

For more information about the Center, contact:

Dr. Robert L. Degner, Director
Florida Agricultural Market Research Center
1083 McCarty Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
(904) 392-1845









ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Our sincere appreciation is extended to Dr. Jimmy Rich, Assistant

Director, Live Oak AREC, for his interest in the agricultural economy of

north Florida and for his financial support of this project. We are

grateful to Kimiki Court and Michelle Renaud Weyant for their help in

collecting the data required for this study. Special thanks also go to

Dr. John Holt, Professor, Food and Resource Economics, and Mr. Clay Olson,

Taylor County Extension Director, for their review of this manuscript and

to Mrs. Renelle Ramirez for typing this manuscript.








SUMMARY


*IFAS and USDA researchers have been working on the development of a new
hay variety, perennial (rhizoma) peanut hay, which is felt to be a very
acceptable substitute for alfalfa hay. Research shows promise for
successfully growing perennial peanut hay on well drained Florida soils
and has developed to the point where research plots have averaged 4.6
tons of hay per year over four years, after an approximate two-year
establishment period on good sites with good management.

*A survey of horse owners was conducted by personnel of the Florida Agri-
cultural Market Research Center to: (1) determine varieties of hay
preferred by Florida horse owners and prices paid for hay; (2) determine
the present usage of alfalfa hay and perennial peanut hay; and (3) esti-
mate potential market acceptance of perennial peanut hay at various price
levels.

*The 100 horse owners surveyed fed approximately 3,205 tons of hay to
3,139 horses during the previous year. Coastal Bermuda and alfalfa hay
represented nearly 80 percent of the hay fed. The average cost of
alfalfa was $6.90 per 60 pound bale, compared with $2.45 per 50 pound
bale for coastal.

*Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed had no previous experience with
perennial peanut hay. Most of these respondents have never used peren-
nial peanut hay because they had never heard of it or because there was
not a ready supply to be purchased. Given that perennial peanut hay was
reasonably priced and readily available, only four of the 100 horse
owners expressed a negative reaction towards trying perennial peanut hay.

*Survey respondents utilizing 64 percent of total alfalfa volume and 60
percent of total hay volume expressed a willingness to pay a minimum of
$4.00 per bale for perennial peanut hay. This is about $133 per ton.
Assuming a breakeven price of $60 to $70 per ton and survey respondents'
overall positive attitude towards using perennial peanut hay, it appears
that perennial peanut hay production could be a profitable north Florida
crop.









TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . ... ....... ii

SUMMARY . . . . ... . . ..iii

LIST OF TABLES . . . . ... . . v

INTRODUCTION . . . . .. . . 1

OBJECTIVES . . . . ... . . 3

PROCEDURES . . . . ... . . 3

FINDINGS . . . . ... . . 4

Horse Breeds . . . . .. ... .. 4

Seasonality of Hay Feeding . . . . 6

Hay Consumption and Variety . . . . 7

Hay Origin and Prices Paid . . . . 9

Experience with Perennial Peanut Hay . . .. 10

Willingness to Pay for Perennial Peanut Hay . ... 13

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS . . . . ... . 15

Survey Highlights . . . . ... . 15

LITERATURE CITED . . . . ... . . 17









LIST OF TABLES


Table


Page


1 Nutrient concentration of alfalfa vs. perennial peanut
hays . . . . . . .

2 Number of horses owned by survey participants, by breed

3 Number of survey participants, by predominant breed
owned . . . . . . .

4 Average hay consumption, by farm size . . .

5 Owners feeding hay to horses, by month . . .

6 Quantities of hay fed to horses in the previous year,
by bale type . . . . . .

7 Hay fed to horses during the past year, by type . .

8 Source of hay and prices paid per ton, by hay type .

9 Previous experience with perennial peanut hay . .

10 Past users' willingness to use perennial peanut hay
again . . . . . . .

11 Past users' reasons for not wanting to feed perennial
peanut hay again . . . . .

12 Reasons why non-users have never tried perennial peanut
hay . . . . . . .

13 Overall reactions to using perennial peanut hay . .

14 Overall willingness to purchase perennial peanut hay at
various prices . . . . . .

15 Annual hay purchases of respondents willing to buy
perennial peanut hay at various prices . . .


S 2

5


S 6

S 6

S 7


S 8

S 9

S 10

11


11


11


12

12


13


14









Acceptance of Perennial Peanut Hay
by Florida Horsemen

by

Robert L. Degner and J. David Locascio


INTRODUCTION


Florida's horse population exceeds 314,000 and generates a cash flow

in excess of $600 million per year. Most of Florida's horses are fed hay

for a four- to five-month period each year. In addition, many show and

performance horses are fed hay year 'round. In the not so distant past,

the general consensus among horse owners was that the high protein content

of hays such as alfalfa and clover (legumes) was hard on a horse's

kidneys. It was also believed that high calcium levels in legumes (versus

grasses) caused improper bone development. Today, however, due to

advances in horse nutrition, it is felt that the high protein and calcium

levels of legumes, coupled with their palatability, contribute most to

hay's value in many horse feeding programs. Through advanced horse

husbandry research and education, high quality alfalfa hay has become the

hay of choice at many race tracks and show barns and to serious hobbyists

(Baltensperger, Ott, Johnson and Prine).

Florida produces in excess of 718,500 tons of hay each year on nearly

280,600 acres by over 5,500 growers. However, little alfalfa hay is

produced in Florida. Only about 20,500 tons of alfalfa are produced each

year in Florida, on 8,300 acres by just over 300 growers (1982 Census of

Agriculture). Consequently, most alfalfa hay fed in Florida is shipped in

from out of state. The cost of quality alfalfa hay is commonly two and a

half times the amount paid for quality grass hays (on a per pound basis).

High shipping costs are one reason for alfalfa hay's higher cost.










Alfalfa's greater cost is also attributed to higher priced seed and

greater fertilizer requirements. Even so, many horse owners continue to

purchase higher priced alfalfa hay because of its superior nutritional

qualities.

IFAS and USDA researchers have been working on the development of

perennial (rhizoma) peanut hay, a legume introduced from Brazil, which

appears to be a very acceptable substitute for alfalfa hay. In tests

conducted at the University of Florida, perennial peanut hay was found to

have a protein content of 10 to 18 percent, compared with 12 percent for

alfalfa. Perennial peanut hay had slightly higher levels of calcium and

phosphorus than alfalfa hay (Table 1). Digestible energy is similar for

perennial peanut hay and alfalfa hay (Baltensperger, Ott, Johnson and

Prine).


Table 1.--Nutrient concentration of alfalfa vs. perennial peanut hays.a


Hay Type, Digestible
Quality Levela Energy Protein Calcium Phosphorus

(Mcal/Lb.) (-------------Percent---------------)

Alfalfa 1 1.0 12.0-15.0 1.20 0.25
Alfalfa 2 1.0 15.0-18.0 1.20 0.25
Alfalfa 3 1.1 18.0-21.0 1.50 0.30
Rhizoma Peanut 1 1.0 10.0-12.0 1.50 0.28
Rhizoma Peanut 2 1.0 12.0-14.0 1.50 0.28
Rhizoma Peanut 3 1.1 14.0-18.0 1.70 0.35

aThree quality levels of the two hay types were evaluated: 1 low
quality, 2 medium quality, and 3 high quality.

Source: Baltensperger, D., E. Ott, E. Johnson and G. Prine. Hay for
Horses, Agronomy Research Report 85-1, Department of
Agronomy, Agricultural Experiment Station, Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gaines-
ville, Florida. September 1984.








Research shows promise for successfully growing perennial peanut hay

on well drained Florida soils. Research plots have averaged 4.6 tons of

hay per year over four years after an approximate two-year establishment

period (Prine, Dunavin, Moore and Roush). One drawback to producers may

be the required lengthy establishment period. The perennial peanut must

be sprigged, and establishment typically takes up to two years depending

on the planting rate and management. Careful management is required to

control competition from weeds. Approximately 1,000 acres of perennial

peanut hay are being commercially produced in Florida (Wake, French,

Spreen and Prine). Research is still needed regarding the most profitable

production practices, marketing considerations and feeding practices.


OBJECTIVES


The overall objective of this study was to determine the extent of

awareness and use of perennial peanut hay among horse owners in north-

central Florida. The study also sought to ascertain horse owners'

attitudes toward perennial peanut hay.

Specific objectives were to: (1) determine the varieties of hay

preferred by Florida horse owners and their relative costs; (2) determine

the present usage of alfalfa hay and perennial peanut hay; and (3)

estimate potential market acceptance, including amounts consumers would be

willing to pay, for perennial peanut hay.


PROCEDURES


It was assumed that persons most likely to try perennial peanut hay

would be those who presently use alfalfa hay. Alfalfa hay is mainly used

by owners of show or performance horses and by serious hobbyists. An








Research shows promise for successfully growing perennial peanut hay

on well drained Florida soils. Research plots have averaged 4.6 tons of

hay per year over four years after an approximate two-year establishment

period (Prine, Dunavin, Moore and Roush). One drawback to producers may

be the required lengthy establishment period. The perennial peanut must

be sprigged, and establishment typically takes up to two years depending

on the planting rate and management. Careful management is required to

control competition from weeds. Approximately 1,000 acres of perennial

peanut hay are being commercially produced in Florida (Wake, French,

Spreen and Prine). Research is still needed regarding the most profitable

production practices, marketing considerations and feeding practices.


OBJECTIVES


The overall objective of this study was to determine the extent of

awareness and use of perennial peanut hay among horse owners in north-

central Florida. The study also sought to ascertain horse owners'

attitudes toward perennial peanut hay.

Specific objectives were to: (1) determine the varieties of hay

preferred by Florida horse owners and their relative costs; (2) determine

the present usage of alfalfa hay and perennial peanut hay; and (3)

estimate potential market acceptance, including amounts consumers would be

willing to pay, for perennial peanut hay.


PROCEDURES


It was assumed that persons most likely to try perennial peanut hay

would be those who presently use alfalfa hay. Alfalfa hay is mainly used

by owners of show or performance horses and by serious hobbyists. An










attempt was made to target this group of horse owners. One hundred horse

owners were randomly selected from a total of 1,060 on the Equine News-

letter mailing list, an IFAS publication that reaches a broad spectrum of

horse enthusiasts. Horse owners were interviewed by telephone in December

1986. Those contacted who did not own horses at the time of the survey

were replaced with randomly selected alternates so that all 100 survey

participants were current horse owners. Although a larger sample would

have been desirable, resources were inadequate for a more extensive

effort.


FINDINGS


Horse Breeds


A total of 3,139 horses were owned by the 100 persons surveyed.

Sixty-five percent (2,036) of horses owned were thoroughbreds, 16 percent

(508) Quarter horses, 14 percent (453) Arabians, and five percent (142)

miscellaneous breeds (Table 2). Miscellaneous breeds included Palominos,

Paints, Appaloosas, Buckskins, Standardbred, Morgans, Tennessee Walkers,

Pasofinos, Clydesdales, mixed breeds, ponies and others.










attempt was made to target this group of horse owners. One hundred horse

owners were randomly selected from a total of 1,060 on the Equine News-

letter mailing list, an IFAS publication that reaches a broad spectrum of

horse enthusiasts. Horse owners were interviewed by telephone in December

1986. Those contacted who did not own horses at the time of the survey

were replaced with randomly selected alternates so that all 100 survey

participants were current horse owners. Although a larger sample would

have been desirable, resources were inadequate for a more extensive

effort.


FINDINGS


Horse Breeds


A total of 3,139 horses were owned by the 100 persons surveyed.

Sixty-five percent (2,036) of horses owned were thoroughbreds, 16 percent

(508) Quarter horses, 14 percent (453) Arabians, and five percent (142)

miscellaneous breeds (Table 2). Miscellaneous breeds included Palominos,

Paints, Appaloosas, Buckskins, Standardbred, Morgans, Tennessee Walkers,

Pasofinos, Clydesdales, mixed breeds, ponies and others.








Table 2.--Number of horses owned by survey participants, by breed.


Breed Owners Total Horses Horses Horses per Owner

(------Number------) (Percent of Total) (Average Number)

Thoroughbred 40 2,036 65 51
Quarter 38 508 16 13
Arabian 20 453 14 23
Othera 40 142 5 4
Totals 10b 3,139 100 31.4

aOther includes Palamino, Paint, Appaloosa, Buckskin, Standard Bred,
Morgan, Tennessee Walker, Pasofino, Clydesdale, etc.

bThis column does not sum to 100 due to multiple responses; i.e.,
some owners owned several different breeds.


Thoroughbred owners tended to have the most horses. Thoroughbred

owners each averaged 51 thoroughbreds. Arabian owners averaged 23

Arabians, and Quarter horse owners averaged 13 Quarter horses. Owners of

horses categorized in the "other" category had the fewest horses, an

average of four each. Overall, 40 survey respondents owned Thoroughbreds,

40 owned Quarter horses, and 20 owned Arabians. The number of persons

owning particular breeds sums to over 100 due to persons owning more than

one breed. On an individual basis, Thoroughbreds were the predominant

breed for 32 of the 100 horse owners, Quarter horses for 29 owners, and

Arabians for 16 owners. Twenty-two of the owners had predominant breeds

which were included in the "other" category (Table 3).










Table 3.--Number of survey participants, by predominant breed owned.


Horse Type Farms

(Number)

Thoroughbred 32
Quarter 29
Arabian 16
Othera 22
Unknown 1
Total 100

aOther includes Palamino, Paint, Appaloosa, Buckskin, Standardbred,
Morgan, Tennessee Walker, Pasofino, Clydesdale, etc.


Survey respondents were categorized into three size groups according

to the number of horses they owned. Fifty-two percent of the horse owners

owned one to nine horses, 22 percent owned 10 to 25 horses, and the

remaining 26 percent owned 26 or more horses (Table 4).


Table 4.--Average hay consumption, by farm size.


Size Category, Head Owners Hay Fed to Horses

(Number) (Average Tons per Year)

Small, 1-9 52 8
Medium, 10-25 22 21
Large, >25 26 97


Seasonality of Hay Feeding


All horse owners fed hay during December, January and February

(Table 5). Ninety-six percent fed hay in March, 88 percent in April, and

87 percent in November. Over half fed their horses hay on a year 'round

basis. The number of owners feeding hay during the May through October








period ranged from a low of 58 percent in July and August to 63 percent in

October.


Table 5.--Owners feeding hay to horses, by month.


Month Fed Hay Did Not Feed Hay Total

(----------------Percent----------------)

January 100 0 100
February 100 0 100
March 96 4 100
April 88 12 100
May 69 31 100
June 59 41 100
July 58 42 100
August 58 42 100
September 59 41 100
October 63 37 100
November 87 13 100
December 100 0 100


Hay Consumption and Variety


Horse owners estimated that slightly over 3,200 tons of hay were

fed to their 3,139 horses during the past year. Owners of small opera-

tions each fed an average of eight tons of hay to their horses during the

previous year, medium-sized farms 21 tons, and large farms 97 tons (Table

4). Overall, the 100 horse owners showed a clear preference for square

bales over round (Table 6). Square bales were used by 78 percent of the

owners and for 87 percent (2,497. tons) of total survey volume. Only 12

percent of owners used round bales (375 tons) and 10 percent used both

square and round bales (333 tons). The proportions of farms using round

bales were approximately the same for all size categories.










Table 6.--Quantities of hay fed to horses in the previous year, by bale
type.


Bale Type Hay

(Tons) (Percent of Total)

Square 2,497 78
Round 375 12
Both 333 10
Total 3,205 100


Coastal Bermuda ("Coastal") hay was the most popular type in the

survey, both in the number of owners feeding it to their horses and in

overall tonnage fed during the previous year. Fifty-two percent of the

100 horse owners surveyed used Coastal hay and fed their horses about

1,700 tons (53 percent of total volume) during the previous year (Table

7). Alfalfa hay was the second most popular. Although 42 owners fed

their horses alfalfa hay, alfalfa made up only 26 percent of total volume

(approximately 819 tons). Coastal and alfalfa hays combined made up

nearly 80 percent of survey volume. The remainder of the survey volume

was fairly evenly split between Timothy (nearly 180 tons or six percent of

total volume), clover (182 tons or six percent of total volume), and

miscellaneous hay types (234 tons or seven percent of total volume).

Miscellaneous varieties included Alescia, Common Bermuda, Bahia, Pangola,

Call, and various mixes. Coastal hay users each fed their horses an

average of 33 tons per year, alfalfa users 20 tons, and Timothy users 16

tons. Only two survey respondents had used perennial peanut hay in the

last year. Their combined total of about a quarter of a ton of perennial

peanut hay made up less than one-tenth of one percent of the total survey

volume.









Table 7.--Hay fed to horses during the past year, by type.


Type Total Tonnage Users Tons per User

(Number) (Percent of Total) (Number) (Average)

Coastal 1,703 53 52 33
Alfalfa 819 26 42 20
Clover 182 6 3 61
Timothy 178 6 11 16
Perennial Peanut --a ..a 2 --a
Other 234 7 30 8
Unknown 89 3 N.A. N.A.
Total 3,205 1b-- 32

aApproximately one-quarter ton of perennial peanut hay, amounting to
less than one-tenth of one percent of the total, was fed by survey
respondents. The average of about 250 pounds is virtually meaningless.

bOther includes Alecia, Bermuda, Bahia, Pangola, Cali and various
mixes.

cDoes not sum to 100 due to rounding.


Hay Origin and Prices Paid


Most of the hay used by the surveyed horse owners was purchased, and

not grown on their farms. Ninety-five percent of 42 alfalfa users

purchased hay, as did over 90 percent of 52 coastal users, about 80

percent of the Timothy users, and two-thirds percent of the 30 using

miscellaneous types (Table 8). Two of the three clover users grew their

own, as did one of the two perennial peanut users. The other perennial

peanut hay user traded goods for the hay.

Alfalfa was clearly the most expensive of all types surveyed,

averaging $231 per ton or $6.90 per 60 pound bale equivalent, approxi-

mately 12 cents per pound (Table 8). Clover and Timothy were very

similar, averaging $170 and $164 per ton, respectively. Coastal hay, the

choice of most horse owners surveyed, averaged $98 per ton or $2.45 per 50











pound bale equivalent. Averaging about five cents per pound, coastal hay

was significantly cheaper than all other types.


Table 8.--Sources of hay and prices paid per ton, by type of hay.


Users
Average Price
Purchasing Growing per Ton of
Type Their Hay Their Hay Total Purchased Hay


(------Percent------) (Number) (Dollars)

Alfalfa 95 5 42 231
Coastal 91 9 52 98
Timothy 82 18 11 164
Perennial Peanut 50a 50 2 -
Clover 33 67 3 170b
Other 33 67 30 116

aOne person traded goods for perennial peanut hay and could not give
a fair market value.


Experience with Perennial Peanut Hay


Including the two horse owners who were using perennial peanut hay

at the time of the survey, only 13 of the 100 survey participants had

previously fed perennial peanut hay to their horses (Table 9). Seven of

the 13 said they would use it again, and six said they would not (Table

10). Of those not willing to use perennial peanut hay again, two said it

had too much protein, two said they grew other types of hay, and one said

it was too expensive (Table 11).









Table 9.--Previous experience with perennial peanut hay.


Respondents Percent

Used in the Past 13
Never Used 87
Total 100


Table 10.--Past users' willingness to use perennial peanut hay again.


Respondents Number Percent

Will Use Again 7 54
Will Not Use Again 6 46
Total 13 100


Table 11.--Past users' reasons for not wanting to feed perennial peanut
hay again.


Reason Responses

(Number) (Percent)

Too Much Protein 2 33
Grow Other Species 2 33
Too Expensive 1 17
No Answer 1 17
Total 6 100


Eighty-seven of the 100 horse owners surveyed had never tried

perennial peanut hay. Eighty-five of the 87 answered questions concerning

their reasons for never using perennial peanut hay. Thirty-five of the 85

(41 percent) said they had never used perennial peanut hay because they

had never heard of it (Table 12). One-fourth said they never used

perennial peanut hay because it was not readily available. About one-

fifth were reluctant to try something new. Four said they grew other










types of hay. Two said perennial peanut hay had too much protein, one

said too much potassium, and another said "quality" was lacking.


Table 12.--Reasons why non-users have never tried perennial peanut hay.


Reason


Responses


Unaware of It
Unavailable
Traditional Feeding Program
Too Expensive
Grow Other Species
It Has Too Much Protein
It Has Too Much Potassium
Poor Quality
Total


(Number)

35
21
16
5
4
2
1
_1
85a


(Percent of Total)

41
25
19
6
5
2
1
1
100


aTwo of the total 87 non-users did not respond to this question.


Horse owners were asked what their initial impression was toward

trying perennial peanut hay (Table 13). Overall, only four of the 100

horse owners answering the question reacted unfavorably. Fifty-eight were

favorably predisposed toward feeding perennial peanut hay to their horses,

and 37 were neutral.


Table 13.--Overall reactions to using perennial peanut hay.


Reaction Responses

(Number)

Favorable 58
Neutral 37
Unfavorable 4
No Answer 1
Total 100








Willingness to Buy at Various Prices


Horse owners were asked whether or not they would consider buying

perennial peanut hay at several price levels. Prices started at $8.00 per

60 pound bale and went down to $3.00 in one dollar increments (Table 14).

At $8.00, only 13 expressed a willingness to consider perennial peanut

hay, but at $5.00 per bale, nearly half were interested. At $4.00, 60

percent were willing to buy it, and at $3.00, the percentage increased to

slightly over 70 percent.


Table 14.--Overall willingness to purchase perennial peanut hay at various
prices.


Cumulative Responsesa

Price Positive
per Bale Responses Positive Negative Undecided Total

(Dollars) (Number) (--------------Percent-----------------)

8 13 13 87 0 100
7 6 19 81 0 100
5 27 47 52 1 100
4 13 60 37 3 100
3 11 71 23 6 100

aTwenty-three respondents were unwilling to buy perennial peanut hay
at any price.


Total volumes of hay presently purchased by those willing to purchase

perennial peanut hay at various prices is also an indication of the poten-

tial demand for perennial peanut hay. Total alfalfa purchased by those

willing to purchase perennial peanut hay at various prices is also

reported because perennial peanut hay is felt to be a good substitute for

alfalfa hay. The 13 respondents willing to pay $8.00 per bale for

perennial peanut hay presently use only 64 tons of alfalfa, eight percent









of total alfalfa volume, and 145 tons of all hay types, five percent of

total survey volume (Table 15). The 19 persons willing to pay $7.00 per

bale purchased 140 tons of alfalfa, 17 percent of total alfalfa volume,

and 239 tons of all hay types, eight percent of total survey volume. The

47 persons willing to pay $5.00 per bale purchased 346 tons of alfalfa,

43 percent of total alfalfa volume, and 1,536 tons of all hay types, 51

percent of total survey volume. The 60 persons willing to pay $4.00 per

bale purchased 515 tons of alfalfa, 64 percent of total alfalfa volume,

and 1,836 tons of all hay types, 60 percent of total survey volume. The

next 11 respondents, those willing to use perennial peanut hay at $3.00

per bale, bought no alfalfa, but they did buy about 2,130 tons of hay of

all types. There were 23 respondents not willing to purchase perennial

peanut hay at any price; they purchased 287 tons of alfalfa, 36 percent of

total alfalfa volume, and 909 tons of all hay types, 30 percent of total

survey volume.


Table 15.--Annual hay purchases of respondents willing to buy perennial
peanut hay at various prices.

Cumulative Proportions and
Tonnages of Total Survey Hay Volume
Price per Percenta
60 Pound Bale Willing to Buy Alfalfa All Types

(Dollars) (Percent) (Percent) (Tons) (Percent) (Tons)
8 13 8 64 5 145
7 19 17 140 8 239
5 47 43 346 51 1,536
4 60 64 515 60 1,836
3 71 64 515 70 2,131
-b b 36 287 30 909
-- _16 287 30 909
-- 100 802 100 3,040

aBased on 100 respondents; six owners who purchased a total of 17
tons of alfalfa and 165 tons of all types of hay were undecided as to
whether or not they would buy perennial peanut hay at any price.
bTwenty-three respondents were unwilling to buy perennial peanut hay
at any price.








SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


Survey Highlights


The 100 horse owners surveyed owned a total of 3,139 horses, and

they estimated that they fed approximately 3,200 tons of hay during the

previous year. All owners fed their horses hay during December, January

and February, and over half fed their horses hay on a year 'round basis.

A majority of owners fed Coastal Bermuda hay. Fifty-two owners fed a

total of 1,703 tons, 53 percent of survey volume, to their horses during

the previous year. Alfalfa hay represented the second largest group using

it and the second largest volume. Forty-two owners fed their horses 819

tons of alfalfa hay, 26 percent of total volume. Coastal and alfalfa hay

together made up nearly 80 percent of total survey volume. Ninety-two

percent of coastal users and 95 percent of surveyed alfalfa users pur-

chased their hay.

This survey indicates that most horse owners have had no previous

experience with perennial peanut hay. More importantly, two-thirds of

those who have never used perennial peanut hay were not against it, but

simply had never heard of it before or indicated there was not a ready

supply to be purchased. Both of these crucial factors may be dealt with

through education and promotion programs aimed at horse owners, perennial

peanut hay producers and sales representatives.

Education programs aimed at horse owners should include information

concerning feeding practices, nutritional benefits, where to buy it, and

the economic benefits to be gained by using perennial peanut hay.

Producers' programs should examine the most profitable production prac-

tices given soil and climatic conditions, expected economic returns, and








SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


Survey Highlights


The 100 horse owners surveyed owned a total of 3,139 horses, and

they estimated that they fed approximately 3,200 tons of hay during the

previous year. All owners fed their horses hay during December, January

and February, and over half fed their horses hay on a year 'round basis.

A majority of owners fed Coastal Bermuda hay. Fifty-two owners fed a

total of 1,703 tons, 53 percent of survey volume, to their horses during

the previous year. Alfalfa hay represented the second largest group using

it and the second largest volume. Forty-two owners fed their horses 819

tons of alfalfa hay, 26 percent of total volume. Coastal and alfalfa hay

together made up nearly 80 percent of total survey volume. Ninety-two

percent of coastal users and 95 percent of surveyed alfalfa users pur-

chased their hay.

This survey indicates that most horse owners have had no previous

experience with perennial peanut hay. More importantly, two-thirds of

those who have never used perennial peanut hay were not against it, but

simply had never heard of it before or indicated there was not a ready

supply to be purchased. Both of these crucial factors may be dealt with

through education and promotion programs aimed at horse owners, perennial

peanut hay producers and sales representatives.

Education programs aimed at horse owners should include information

concerning feeding practices, nutritional benefits, where to buy it, and

the economic benefits to be gained by using perennial peanut hay.

Producers' programs should examine the most profitable production prac-

tices given soil and climatic conditions, expected economic returns, and










marketing considerations. Sales representatives should be informed of the

benefits potentially derived from both sides as well as their own profit

potential. Since many sales representatives are in continuous contact

with both producers and consumers, they can do a great deal to promote the

benefits of establishing perennial peanut hay as a less expensive substi-

tute for alfalfa hay.

In December 1985, breakeven costs for perennial peanut hay were

estimated at approximately $98, $73 and $59 per ton at yields of 3, 4 and

5 tons per acre, respectively (Swisher). Experimental plots of perennial

peanut hay averaged 4.6 tons per year over a four-year period (Prine,

Dunavin, Moore and Roush), thus the breakeven costs were approximately $60

to $70 per ton given experimental yields.

In the current survey of horse owners conducted in late 1986, 60

percent of the respondents, representing 64 percent of all alfalfa hay

purchases, were willing to pay a minimum of $4.00 per 60 pound bale ($133

per ton) for perennial peanut hay. Thus, it appears that perennial peanut

hay production has the potential to be a profitable crop for north Florida

farmers. However, before conducting promotional programs for the crop,

updated research is needed to document production costs and likely

economic returns.








LITERATURE CITED


Baltensperger, D., E. Ott, E. Johnson and G. Prine. Hay for Horses,
Agronomy Research Report 85-1, Department of Agronomy, Agricultural
Experiment Station, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. September 1984.

Prine, G. M. "Perennial Peanuts for Forage," Soil and Crop Science
Society of Florida Proceedings, Volume 32. December 5, 6 and 7,
1972.

Prine, G. M., L. S. Dunavin, J. E. Moore and R. D. Roush. 'Florigraze'
Rhizoma Peanut: A Perennial Forage Legume, Circular S-275, Agricul-
tural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, University of Florida. January 1981.

Swisher, M. E. "Perennial Peanut: A High Quality, Low Cost Forage,"
Suwannee Valley Farming, Volume 2, Number 6. November 1985.

United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. 1982 Census
of Agriculture: Florida. State and County Data, Volume 1, Geo-
graphic Series Part 9.

Wake, J. L., E. C. French, T. H. Spreen and G. M. Prine. A Computer
Model Estimate of the Performance of Beef Cattle Backgrounded on
Rhizoma Peanut and Pensacola Bahiagrass in North Florida, Agronomy
Research Report AY85-14, Agronomy Department, Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
June 1985.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs