Animal feed resources information system

Rhizoma peanut (Arachis glabrata)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).


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Common names 

Rhizoma peanut, rhizoma perennial peanut, perennial forage peanut, amendoim bravo, mendoim do campo baixo


Arachis hagenbeckii Harms

Feed categories 
Related feed(s) 

It is an aggressive plant and can suppress companion grasses when grown in mixtures but produced increased yield over grass alone.

Nutritional aspects


Perennial peanut is often referred to as ‘‘rhizoma’’ peanut, because it produces few seeds, and it is usually vegetatively propagated from rhizomes. Its forage can be fed to all categories of ruminants, grazed in rotation, harvested for hay or ensiled. It is a tropical legume well known in Florida, combining the attributes of excellent nutritive value, competitive ability with tropical grasses, and high animal performance.

Nutritive value and degradability

Rhizoma peanut herbage CP and IVOMD was shown to vary between 13-23 and 55-75%DM respectively depending on the season (Valencia et al., 2001; Williams et al., 2004). Rhizoma peanut hay is considered of an equal quality to alfalfa hay with CP and IVOMD values around 12 and 60%DM respectively (reported in Hill, 2002).

Dairy cows

Rhizoma peanut silage (RPS) could replace 70% of corn silage in diets containing 50% concentrate without affecting dairy cow performance. Intake and digestion of the diet were depressed only when RPS was the sole source of forage (-2kg of DM intake and -2 to 3% of apparent DM digestibility) consequently affecting milk production (-1kg/cow/day) (Staples et al., 1997).

Based on nutrient content, in vitro dry matter degradability, and voluntary intake, Rhizoma peanut hay showed greater potential for dairy heifers as a forage source than Stylo and Pigeon-pea, showing a higher apparent digestibility of DM than the control tropical grass hay and a similar selective intake (Rodriguez et al., 2010). Cows and heifers being wintered on residual bahiagrass pasture and bahiagrass hay showed similar performances (body weight and body condition score changes, pregnancy rate, calf birth weight) when offered 2.3 kg of the perennial peanut hay than when fed with 0.9 kg of a 20% CP concentrate cube supplement (Hammond et al., 1992).

Growing cattle

In Florida, yearling bulls from temperate and tropical breeds were offered mixed pastures of Rhizoma peanut with bahiagrass, bermudagrass, Mexican tea, cogongrass, and blackberry, at different stocking rates and N fertilization levels. Summer average daily gain (ADG) averaged about 0.2 kg/d lower than spring ADG, due, in part, to seasonal declines in nutritive value. Because herbage allowance was never limiting, full-season ADG was not affected by stocking rate or N fertilization and averaged 0.61 ± 0.03 kg/d (Valencia et al., 2001). Steers finished on Rhizoma peanut tropical grass pasture in Florida experienced lower ADG during the growing and finishing periods (0.49 and 0.94 kg/d, respectively) than concentrate-finished steers (0.78 and 1.33 kg/d, respectively). Steers can be finished on rhizoma peanut-tropical grass pastures, but dark lean color and poor tenderness of carcasses may reduce beef quality produced on this forage (Bennett et al., 1995).

Creep grazing, defined as the utilization of a high quality forage species that only the calves have access to during the preweaning stage, may be another method of efficiently utilizing limited acreage of Rhizoma perennial peanut. Creep grazing enabled improvements in calf gains and body weight with greater benefits later in the grazing season as quality of the bahiagrass base pasture and cow milk production declined (Williams et al., 2004). However, creep grazing perennial peanut was less effective than creep grazing cowpea, both leading to lower calf performance than creep feeding with concentrates (Foster et al., 2013). Creep grazing the calves had no effect on cow performance (weight, ADG, or body condition score) (Foster et al., 2013; Williams et al., 2004).


Voluntary intake of DM, NDF and CP from ram lamb was higher when fed with Rhizoma perennial peanut hay (RPPH) than with grass hay (Digitaria eriantha, 80%, and Urochloa maximum, 20%). Daily supplementation with fish silage for the sheep fed the basal diet of RPPH slightly increased DM and CP digestibility but should be limited to 0.225% of BW (Diaz-Rios et al., 2008). Perennial peanut hay (first cut), supplemented at 50% of total diet DM (based on bahiagrass hay), increased DM and N intake and digestibility and improved microbial N synthesis of ram lambs (initial body weight 30.6 ± 5.5 kg) compared with no supplement or annual peanut, cowpea, pigeonpea or soybean hays (Foster et al., 2009).


Based on nutrient content, in vitro dry matter degradability, and voluntary intake, Rhizoma peanut hay showed greater potential for goats as a forage source than Stylo and Pigeon-pea, showing a higher apparent digestibility of DM than the control tropical grass hay and a similar selective intake (Rodriguez et al., 2010). When offered the choice, mature goat bucks showed a strong preference during the autumn grazing (no preference in summer), spending 64.1% of their grazing time on rhizoma peanut plots compared to 35.9% for alfalfa, in relation with higher available rhizoma peanut DM. This preference was not associated with difference in quality of pre- and post-grazed rhizoma peanut forage, which indicates no selective grazing by the goats on these plots.

Growing goats fed peanut hay consumed approximately the same amount of dry matter (DM) but gained more body weight (+11-17 g/day) and were more efficient (-5-7 g DM/g gain) in converting DM intake into gain than those fed alfalfa hay or a combination of both forages (Gelaye et al., 1990). Goats fed rhizoma peanut hay (10% of the diet based on cracked corn, soybean meal and peanut hull) grew at the same rate and utilized most of the nutrients as well or better than goats fed alfalfa hay (10% of the based diet). In tropical and subtropical parts of the world, goat productivity could be improved by using rhizoma peanut extensively in their rations (Gelaye et al., 1991).


There is no literature available on the use of Rhizoma peanut by camels (April 2019).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 
Datasheet citation 

DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/575 Last updated on April 12, 2019, 14:36

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