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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of Row Spacing, Fertilizers, and Varieties of Kenaf Yield in Virginia

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: February 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) has significant potential as an alternative crop in Virginia, but it's important to determine the optimum production system to maximize kenaf yields for Virginia. Three experiments were conducted at Petersburg, Virginia during 1995 to determine the best varieties, the optimum fertilizer applications, and the ideal row spacing. Of the twenty-one kenaf varieties evaluated for yield, the yields ranged from 3.0 t/a (Guatemala-48) to 6.2 t/a (78-18RS-10), and averaged 4.9 t/a. In the fertilizer experiment four rates (45, 90, 134 and 179 lb/a) each of N, P, and K were evaluated with Everglades 41. The kenaf response to fertilizer rates was significant only for N. The highest yield of 5.2 t/a resulted from 45 lb N/a, which was not significantly different from the 90 lb N/a rate with 5.1 t/a. Since the basic N level in the experimental soil was 12.5 lb/a, these results from one year's research indicate that kenaf needs 45 to 90 lb N/a. In the row spacing experiment (12, 24, 36, and 48 inches between rows), the highest dry matter yield of 5.2 t/a was obtained with a row spacing of 12 in. The dry matter yields from row spacings of 24, 36, and 48 in. were 3.1, 3.8, and 3.7 t/a, respectively. The differences among dry matter yields of the four row spacings were not statistically significant when averaged across varieties (Everglades 41 and Everglades 71). These results indicate that kenaf plant is capable of adjusting to available space. Based on the yield levels in row spacing, fertilizer, and variety experiments, the average kenaf yields from Virginia could be approximately 4.5 t/a. These results indicate that kenaf can be easily produced in Virginia with limited inputs.

Technical Abstract: Research conducted during 1992-1994 has indicated that kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) has significant potential as an alternative crop in Virginia. However, precise information regarding desirable agronomic practices (nutrient needs, plant populations) is not available. Three experiments were conducted at Petersburg, Virginia during 1995 to identify : (1) high yielding varieties, (2) optimum levels of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K), and (3) ideal row spacing. The yields of twenty-one varieties ranged from 6.7 (Guatemala-48) to 14.0 MT/ha (78- 18RS-10), and averaged 10.9 MT/ha. In the fertilizer experiment four rates (50, 100, 150 and 200 kg/ha) each of N, P, and K were evaluated with Everglades 41. The kenaf response to fertilizer rates was significant only for N. The highest yield of 11.7 MT/ha resulted from 50 kg N/ha which was not different than the yield from the 100 kg N/ha rate (11.5 MT/ha). Since ethe basic N level in the experimental area was 14 kg/ha, these results fro one year's research indicate that kenaf needs 50 to 100 kg N/ha. In the row spacing experiment (30, 60, 90, and 120 cm between rows), the highest dry matter yield of 11.7 MT/ha was obtained with a row spacing of 30 cm. The dry matter yields from row spacings of 60, 90, and 120 cm were 6.9, 8.6,and 8.4 MT/ha, respectively. The differences among dry matter yields of the four row spacings were not statistically significant when averaged across varieties (Everglades 41 and Everglades 71). These results indicate that the kenaf plant is capable of adjusting to available space. Based on the yield levels in row spacing, fertilizer, and variety experiments, average kenaf yields from Virginia could be approximately 10 MT/ha. These results indicate that kenaf can be easily produced in Virginia with limited input.

Last Modified: 4/24/2014
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