Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2003
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: Sharratt, B.S., Gesch, R.W. 2003. Sowing date and row spacing govern water use of cuphea in the northern corn belt. [CD-ROM]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Madison, WI. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Cuphea (Lythraceae) is a source of medium chain fatty acids and has potential to be an alternative crop in the northern Corn Belt. Little is known, however, concerning the agronomic management of Cuphea and the influence of management strategies on yield and water use efficiency. A semi-domesticated line of Cuphea was sown in 0.2, 0.4, and 0.6 m rows in early, mid, and late May 2001 and 2002 to achieve the same plant population among treatments. Seed harvest occurred after the first killing frost in the autumn and water use was determined by neutron attenuation through the growing season. Seed yield averaged about 400 and 700 kg ha-1 in successive years. Lower rainfall and greater crop water stress resulted in lower yield in 2001. Yield was greater for Cuphea sown in early spring and in narrow rows. Water use efficiencies were less than about 2 kg ha-1 mm-1. Our study suggests that water stress limits seed production and therefore may limit the adaptation of present lines of Cuphea as an alternative crop in the northern Corn Belt.