Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 27, 2001
Publication Date: May 9, 2002
Citation: FOSTER, J.G., FEDDERS, J.M., CLAPHAM, W.M., ROBERTSON, J.W., BLIGH, D.P., TURNER, K.E. NUTRITIVE VALUE AND ANIMAL SELECTION OF THREE CULTIVARS OF FORAGE CHICORY GROWN IN CENTRAL APPALACHIA. AGRONOMY JOURNAL. 2002. v. 94(5). p. 1034-1042. Interpretive Summary: Chicory is a perennial, drought-tolerant herb that has become a successful pasture species in New Zealand. Incorporation of the New Zealand cultivar into pastures in central Appalachia have resulted in poor lamb performance. This study was undertaken to compare nutritional qualities of three forage chicory cultivars, 'Grasslands Puna', 'INIA Le Lacerta', and 'Forage Feast', and determine the acceptance of the herbage by animals. Whitetail deer in a free-foraging situation and sheep in two cafeteria trials discriminated against Forage Feast. Deer preferred Lacerta over Puna, but sheep did not distinguish between Lacerta and Puna. Chemical analyses of similar tissues harvested at the same time showed that the cultivars were similar in nutritive value. Sulfur-containing amino acids were not adequate in any of the cultivars to meet the sulfur requirements of sheep. An analysis of the distribution of nitrogen in the herbage revealed a high concentration of nitrogen that was not associated with protein. These results suggest that palatability and intake of the chicory cultivars are related to cellular constituents referred to as secondary plant metabolites. Differences among the cultivars could be genetically based and environmentally influenced.
Technical Abstract: The success of 'Grasslands Puna' chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) as a forage species in other areas has not been realized in the central Appalachian Region of the U.S. A field study was conducted in southern West Virginia (38d N, 81d W; 850 m above sea level) to compare nutritional qualities of herbage from Puna, 'INIA Le Lacerta', and 'Forage Feast' and assess ruminant preferences for these three forage chicory cultivars that were developed in different parts of the world. Chicory cultivars were established in replicated plots in 1997 and 1998, and herbage was used for chemical analyses and animal feeding assessments. Whitetail deer in a free-foraging situation and sheep in two cafeteria studies discriminated against Forage Feast. Deer preferred Lacerta over Puna; sheep did not avoid either Lacerta or Puna. At a particular harvest date, similar tissues had similar concentrations of neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and in vitro organic matter disappearance and similar amino acid composition. Sulfur, in the form of methionine and cyst(e)ine, was not adequate in any of the cultivars to meet nutritional needs of sheep. Differences between total N and amino acid N concentrations indicated a major contribution by nonprotein nitrogenous components. There was no evidence of nonprotein amino acids in any of the cultivars. Results suggest that palatability and intake are related to secondary plant metabolites, rather than differences in nutritive value.