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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVED PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR PASTURES AND RANGELANDS IN THE TEMPERATE SEMIARID REGIONS OF THE WESTERN U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Factors influencing the field germination of forage kochia

Authors
item Creech, Cody -
item Waldron, Blair
item Ransom, Corey -
item Zobell, Dale -
item Creech, J -

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 2013
Publication Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: Creech, C.F., Waldron, B.L., Ransom, C.V., Zobell, D.R., Creech, J.E. 2013. Factors influencing the field germination of forage kochia. Crop Science. 53:2201-2208.

Interpretive Summary: Forage kochia is a drought and salt tolerant perennial, semi-shrub that has proven to be valuable forage in the western U.S., but also difficult to establish. This study evaluated the effects that age of seed, subspecies, and planting date have on forage kochia seed germination in the field. Seed lots evaluated were recently harvested and cold-stored, year-old seed from subspecies virescens and grisea. Planting was simulated by placing seed packets at ground level, at two Utah locations, once each month mid-January through mid-April. Subsequently, seed packets were collected every 15 days until 75 days after planting (DAP) to determine the amount of seed that had germinated. Forage kochia germination was affected by age of seed, subspecies, and planting date. At 45 DAP, when germination was at or near maximum, current year seed of subspecies grisea had field germination of 84, 96, 80, and 28% compared to virescens germination of 59, 55, 27, and 14% for planting dates in January, February, March, and April, respectively. Year-old seed of both subspecies had much lower field germination of 13, 14, 10 and 7% for grisea and 6, 9, 0, and 0% for virescens during the same planting dates of January through April. These results confirm that seeding in January or February using current-year seed of subspecies grisea promotes forage kochia germination and increases the likelihood of successful stand establishment.

Technical Abstract: Forage kochia is a drought and salt tolerant perennial, semi-shrub that has proven to be valuable forage in the western U.S., but also difficult to establish. This study evaluated the effects that age of seed, subspecies, and planting date have on forage kochia seed germination in the field. Seed lots evaluated were recently harvested and cold-stored, year-old seed from subspecies virescens and grisea. Planting was simulated by placing seed packets at ground level, at two Utah locations, once each month mid-January through mid-April. Subsequently, seed packets were collected every 15 days until 75 days after planting (DAP) to determine the amount of seed that had germinated. Forage kochia germination was affected (P<0.05) by age of seed, subspecies, and planting date. At 45 DAP, when germination was at or near maximum, current year seed of subspecies grisea had field germination of 84, 96, 80, and 28% compared to virescens germination of 59, 55, 27, and 14% for planting dates in January, February, March, and April, respectively. Year-old seed of both subspecies had much lower field germination of 13, 14, 10 and 7% for grisea and 6, 9, 0, and 0% for virescens during the same planting dates of January through April. These results confirm that seeding in January or February using current-year seed of subspecies grisea promotes forage kochia germination and increases the liklihood of successful stand establishment.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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