|Bost, Georgia - THE SAPIENT'S INSTITUTE|
|Sij JR., John - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: Kenaf Association International Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Field trials were initiated at Texas A&M's Beaumont field station in 1995 to evaluate 14 species and subspecies of Hibiscus, plus 17 hybrids of Hibiscus Section Meunchhusia species, as potential alternative food and fiber crops. All of the species and hybrids tested are potential "permanent" food and fiber crops with a long amortization period, and can be managed for multiple harvests per year using sustainable agricultural practices. Thirteen wild Hibiscus genomes, plus Abelmoschus manihot, were established from potted stock; eight Hibiscus genomes were attempted by seed. In addition, 17 BOSTx hybrids of Hibiscus Section Meunchhusia were established from potted stock. The study was intended to contrast establishment with and without flood irrigation. However, due to the location, both fields were inundated for most of the growing season. All hybrids were planted in either 0.5-foot, 10-foot or 2.0-foot centers. The seven Hibiscus species that were tested for field establishment by seed were planted at 2-foot row spacings and two seed densities: 4" and 8", each in duplicate rows. Seeds were over planted by 25%. Due to the inundated condition of the field plots, seed establishment was very poor, except for kenaf ("Everglades 71"), which has a much larger seed and much shorter germination period than do the other species tested. Survivorship data, field layouts and observations of plant habit were collected. Possible management strategies for this potential perennial crop are presented as a function of primary and secondary products that may be produced annually from a given field.