|Webber Iii, Charles|
Submitted to: Kenaf Association International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2000
Publication Date: 6/1/2000
Citation: WEBBER III, C.L., HUNEYCUTT, H.J. KENAF BIOMASS QUANTITY AND QUALITY. KENAF ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS. 2000. P. 33.
Technical Abstract: Although kenaf (Hibiscus cannibinus L.) is normally considered a fiber crop, literature has mentioned the possibility that this fast growing crop may also be a suitable forage crop. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of multiple harvests on kenaf plant biomass production and quality. Two kenaf varieties, 'Everglades 41' and 'Cubano' were planted in early May at Lane, OK and Fayetteville, AR, harvested 70 days after planting (DAP), and the regrowth was then harvested at 132 DAP (62 days after the first harvest). Except for the first harvest in Arkansas, when Cubano (6.0 t/ha) produced greater total dry matter yields than Everglades 41 (4.6 t/ha), there were no significant differences between the varieties within the harvest dates. Averaged across locations the dry matter yields for the first harvest averaged 4.0 t/ha compared 5.7 t/ha for the second harvest. The rate of dry matter production for the second growing period was significantly greater (91 kg/ha/day) than the first growing period (57 kg/ha/day). Whole plant crude protein averaged 17% and 12% for the first and second harvests, respectively. Whole plant total digestible nutrients averaged 63% for the first harvest, and 52% for the regrowth. Crude protein and total digestible nutrients for the leaves remained constant between harvest dates, unlike the crude protein and total digestible nutrients analysis for the whole plant and stalks, which decreased from the first to the second harvests. Acid detergent fiber averaged 31% for the first harvest, and 41% for the regrowth, while neutral detergent averaged 46% for the first harvest, and 61% for the second harvest. The excellent regrowth and the forage quality of kenaf suggest that kenaf may prove useful as a forage crop.