Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 22, 2009
Publication Date: June 21, 2010
Citation: Cassida, K.A., Foster, J.G., Sanderson, M.A., Gonzalez, J.M. 2010. Nutritive value response of forage chicory cultivars to phosphorus fertility. CD-ROM. Proceedings of the American Forage and Grassland Council, June 21-23, 2010, Springfield, MO.
Forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) 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 lactones, bitter compounds which may act as a natural dewormer for livestock prone to gastrointestinal parasites. Three chicory cultivars (Puna, Forage Feast, Lacerta) were grown under 25, 47, or 70 lb/acre of available soil P (ASP) in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Nutritive value of all treatments was high and within desirable ranges for grazing livestock. The low-ASP treatment reduced leaf P and Mg concentration, reduced ADF, and increased leaf K concentration and CP, but increasing ASP from 47 to 70 lb/acre had no effect on forage composition. Overall nutritive value tended to be greatest for Lacerta and least for Forage Feast. All treatment differences were relatively small and unlikely to have large effects on animal performance. Therefore, we conclude that phosphorus fertility has little biological impact on the nutritional value of forage chicory.