Forage Peanut, Maní pinto, maní perenne
Geraldo Pinto first collected samples of Arachis pintoi in the 1950’s in Brazil.
The Forage Peanut is used mostly as a cover crop as its thick, prostrate growth by stolons and its strong taproot make it most effective for erosion, weed and fire control. It is favored for these purposes in tree plantations, as it will tolerate some shade. It also makes for good cattle and poultry grazing if a 30-day rest period is allowed between each 5 days of grazing.
In the tropics, Forage Peanut can be planted and grown year-round if the soil has adequate moisture, warm temperatures and is not fertilized heavily. It is a perennial legume that benefits from inoculation by pinto peanut rhizobium. Seeds can be broadcast then lightly covered and rolled, or drilled in to a depth of 4 cm (1.5 in) in loose, sandy soils. It establishes readily over a 6-month span, and flowers 3-4 weeks after emergence.
Harvesting and Seed Production
A crop of Forage Peanut is best grazed rather than mowed, as the stolons lie so close to the ground. It is tolerant and actually increases growth under moderate grazing. The ovary (seed) is borne on a stalk, “peg” that elongates up to 27 cm (10 in), after pollination and pushes the ovary up to 7 cm (2.75 in). depth into the soil. If grown for seed, the plants are pulled up when they have turned yellow. Let plants dry for one week in the field or hung upside down. Separate seeds from plants, store under cool, dry conditions. Seed left in the ground will remain viable for more than one season.
Pests and Diseases
Forage Peanuts are resistant to most groundnut diseases such as leaf spot and rust as well as to most of the common root knot nematodes. Rats and mice are attracted to the seeds (nuts). None of the diseases seem to have a serious effect on growth.
Cooking and Nutrition
Cattle readily graze on Forage Peanut vines and the digestibility of it in dry form is high, 60%-76%. It helps increase milk production and weight gain, as it is high in protein.