Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2003
Publication Date: April 24, 2003
Citation: Sanderson, M.A. 2003. Yield and persistence of bolting-resistant cultivars of chicory in forage plots. American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings. 12:332-337. Interpretive Summary: Newer varieties of forage chicory are available, but information on their use is limited. We compared a grazing type chicory (Grasslands Puna) frequently used in the northeastern USA with two newer cultivars viz, LaCerta and Forage Feast. Commercial literature touts Forage Feast as "bolting resistant." Three European cultivars of root-type chicory were compared as well. Chicory cultivars differed in their persistence and degree of bolting during this 3-year study. LaCerta chicory produced a large amount of flowering stems and had very low persistence. Forage Feast and the root-type chicorys bolted less, but did not produce as much dry matter and were less persistent than Grasslands Puna. The results indicate, however, that genetic selection for reduced bolting in chicory would be useful in developing new cultivars of chicory for grazing purposes provided that persistence was not compromised.
Technical Abstract: A challenge in managing chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) as a forage is dealing with "bolting" or rapid elongation of flower stalks in spring. Cultivars with reduced bolting potential are available. We conducted a field-plot experiment at Rock Springs, PA during 1999 to 2001 to evaluate commercial forage cultivars and European root-type cultivars of chicory for yield, bolting, and persistence under clipping. 'Grasslands Puna', 'LaCerta', and 'Forage Feast' forage-type chicory, and 'Dagerrad', 'Halle', and 'Katrein' root-crop chicory cultivars were sown in field plots in May 1999. Plots were cut on a 4-wk schedule during 2000 and 2001. Dry matter yield was determined at each harvest along with a visual estimate of flower stalk formation. Stand densities were determined also. The cultivars did not differ in dry matter yield in 2000 (average of 6700 lb dry matter/ac). Grasslands Puna and LaCerta yielded more dry matter than other cultivars in 2001. Chicory cultivars differed in their persistence and degree of bolting. More than 80% of LaCerta chicory plants bolted during both years and LaCerta suffered an 89% loss of plants during 1999 to 2002. Less than 50% of Forage Feast and the root-type chicory plants bolted, but these cultivars did not produce as much dry matter and were less persistent than Grasslands Puna. Grasslands Puna maintained the highest plant density (12 plants ft-2), but up to 90% of plants bolted in 2000. The results indicate that genetic selection for reduced bolting in chicory would be useful in developing new cultivars of chicory for grazing purposes provided that persistence is not compromised.