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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Effects of Multiple Harvests on Kenaf Yield and Quality

Authors
item Webber, Charles
item Huneycutt, Herbert - UNIVERITY OF ARKANSAS

Submitted to: Kenaf Association International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Kenaf is an annual crop which can be successfully produced in a large portion of the United States, particularly in the southern states. Although kenaf is usually considered a fiber crop, the entire kenaf plant can be used as a livestock feed. The objectives of this research were to determine to what extent the kenaf crop would regrow after an initial harvest, the dry matter yields of a first and second harvest, and the nutritive value of each cutting. Kenaf varieties 'Everglades 41' and 'Cubano' were harvested at 70 days after planting, allowed to regrow, and harvested again after 62 days. Plants were cut at 10 inches above ground at the first harvest, and then the regrowth was cut at 12 inches above ground. Regrowth for both kenaf varieties was excellent following the initial harvest. The dry matter yields averaged across both locations and varieties were 1.8 t/a and 2.5 t/a, for the first and second harvests, respectively. Crude protein percentages for leaf, stalk, and whole plants averaged across locations, varieties and harvests were 22, 9, and 15%, respectively. The excellent plant regrowth and plant analysis demonstrates the feasibility of multiple harvests of kenaf as a forage crop.

Technical Abstract: The utilization of kenaf (Hibiscus cannibinus L.) as a forage crop would be significantly enhanced if the crop produced multiple harvests within a single growing season. Research was conducted at Fayetteville, AR and Lane, OK in 1991 to determine the effects of multiple harvests on kenaf dry matter production and its nutritive value. Kenaf varieties 'Everglades 41' and 'Cubano' were harvested at 70 days after planting (DAP), allowed t regrow, and harvested again after 62 days (132 DAP). Plants were cut at 25 cm (10 in) above ground at the first harvest, and then the regrowth was cut at 30 cm (12 in) above ground. Kenaf varieties at both locations showed excellent regrowth following the initial harvest. Dry matter yields averaged across locations and varieties were 4.0 mt/ha (1.8 t/a) and 5.7 mt/ha (2.5 t/a), for the 70 and 132 DAP harvests, respectively. Crude protein percentages for leaf, stalk, and whole plants averaged across locations, varieties and harvests were 22, 9, and 15%, respectively. Whol plant total digestible nutrients ranged from 50.1 to 64.5%. The excellent plant regrowth and whole plant total digestible nutrients demonstrates the feasibility of multiple harvests of kenaf as a forage crop.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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