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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Potential of Kenaf As a Forage

Authors
item Bhardwaj, Harbans - VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Rangappa, M - VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Webber, Charles

Submitted to: Kenaf Association International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Previous research in Virginia with seven varieties has indicated a decline in nutritional quality of kenaf plants with increasing age. This may reduce kenaf's usefulness as a forage at later stages of growth. Research was conducted during 1994 to study the effects of multiple harvests on kenaf yield and quality. Seven kenaf varieties (Cubano, Everglades 41, Everglades 71, Guatemala 48, Indian, Tainung#1, and Tainung#2) were planted in May 1994. The final harvest was conducted on December 6, 1994 after the plants had died following a hard-freeze. All plants in each plot were harvested approximately 10 in. from ground level at 85, 92, and 99 days after planting (DAP). The regrowth was sampled for crude protein and fiber content on November 9, 1994 approximately 92, 100, and 107 DAP following first harvest, respectively. The dry matter yields, averaged over varieties, ranged from 5.6 tons/ac for 85 DAP to 7.0 tons/a for 92 DAP. The 85 DAP had a significantly lower yield than the other three treatments. The acid detergent fiber (ADF) was significantly less in regrowth compared to first harvest for 85, 92, and 99 DAP. The ADF was reduced an average of 30.6 percent. The regrowth with 99 DAP had significantly higher crude protein content compared to the first harvest at 99 DAP. This data indicates that kenaf has potential as a summer forage in Virginia and adjoining states.

Technical Abstract: Research was undertaken during 1994 to study the effects of multiple harvests on kenaf forage yield and quality. Seven kenaf varieties (Cubano, Everglades 41, Everglades 71, Guatemala 48, Indian, Tainung#1, and Tainung#2) were planted on May 14, 1994 in a RCBD with three replications. Each replication consisted of four beds, each bed being assigned randomly to one of four treatments (T1 = harvest at 85 DAP + final harvest of regrowth, T2 = harvest at 92 DAP + final harvest of regrowth, T3 = harvest at 99 DAP + final harvest of regrowth, and T4 = final harvest). All plants in a plot were harvested approximately 0.25m from ground level at 85, 92, and 99 DAP. A sample from each plot was used for determination of crude protein and fiber content. The regrowth was sampled for crude protein and fiber content on November 9, 1994 approximately 92, 100, and 107 DAP following first harvest, respectively. The dry matter yields (kg/ha), averaged over varieties, ranged from 12506 for T1 to 15688 for T2. T1 had significantly lower yield than other three treatments. The dry matter yield from T4 (14905 kg/ha) was not different from that of T2 or T3 (14433 kg/ha).

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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