Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2009
Publication Date: June 21, 2009
Citation: Cassida, K.A., Foster, J.G., Sanderson, M.A., Gonzalez, J.M. 2009. Yield and persistence response of forage chicory to phosphorus fertility. In: Proceedings of the American Forage and Grassland Council. 2009 Annual Conference, June 21-23, 2009, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2009 CDROM. Interpretive Summary: Forage chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a productive plant that appears particularly well suited to improving summer yield of pastures in the USA. Low soil phosphorus fertility has been linked to poor palatability of the forage, but plant growth responses to P fertility have not been reported. In a three-year multiple-site trial, chicory responded to P fertilization only when available soil P was much lower than levels considered optimal for crops. Cultivars varied in response to P fertility, indicating that soil characteristics should be considered when selecting cultivars. This work is useful because it can be used to improve management recommendations for forage chicory. The work will benefit producers seeking to design efficient and productive small ruminant farming systems.
Technical Abstract: Forage chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a productive plant that appears particularly well suited to improving summer yield of pastures in the USA. Poor palatability of some chicory cultivars in locations with low soil phosphorus fertility has been linked to high levels of sesquiterpene lactone, a bitter compound which may act as a natural dewormer for livestock prone to gastrointestinal parasites. The general response of forage chicory to P fertility has not been reported. Three chicory cultivars (Puna, Forage Feast, Lacerta) were grown under varied P fertility levels for three years in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Chicory yields did not respond to increasing P fertility when ASP was moderate to high (47 to 70 ppm), but cumulative annual yield increased when ASP increased from 25 to 47 ppm on the P-deficient WV soil. Phosphorus fertilization improved persistence of Puna, which showed better overall persistence and sustained yield than Forage Feast or Lacerta.