Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2001
Publication Date: 4/25/2001
Citation: Sanderson, M.A., Labreveux, M., Hall, M.H. 2001. Forage yield and persistence of chicory and plantain. American Forage And Grassland Council Proceedings. 10:186-190. Interpretive Summary: There is a need for plants that are able to produce significant quantities of forage of acceptable nutritional value for high producing animals during the mid-summer when high temperatures and lack of rainfall limit cool- season forage production. Using deep rooting, nutritious, perennial herbs to fill this gap in forage production may offer an alternative. We used different grazing or clipping treatments on several varieties of chicory and plantain. Plantain did not persist under grazing or clipping and there were significant differences among chicory varieties in persistence and yield. These results indicate that plantain may not be suitable for management-intensive grazing systems.
Technical Abstract: Graziers in the northeast often face forage shortages in midsummer. Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) have been introduced in the USA as perennial herbs for pastures and have been touted as drought tolerant. We conducted two field-plot experiments at Rock Springs, Pennsylvania, during 1997 to 2000 to evaluate chicory and plantain for yield and persistence under clipping. 'Grasslands Puna,' 'La Certa,' and 'Forage Feast' chicory, and 'Ceres Tonic,' and 'Grasslands Lancelot' grazing plantain were sown in field plots in May 1997 and 1999 and harvested multiple times in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Forage chicory yielded 5400 to 7400 lb/acre/year; however, stand losses of 20 to 50% occurred. Plantain yielded 4500 to 6500 lb dry matter/acre/year; however, it died out completely within 2 years in one experiment. Plantain does not appear to be suited for planted pastures in central Pennsylvania.