Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/23/2003
Publication Date: 5/20/2004
Citation: Labreveux, M., Hall, M.H., Sanderson, M.A. 2004. Productivity under grazing of chicory and plantain cultivars in the northeastern USA. Agronomy Journal. 96(3):710-716. Interpretive Summary: Productivity of cool-season species reaches a maximum in the spring and minimum during the summer. Our objective was to evaluate annual and summer productivity of different cultivars of chicory and plantain for direct feeding pastures, and, if appropriate, to suggest grazing guidelines for the region. Our results suggest that, of the three cultivars tested, Puna chicory as a pure stand would be a good complement to Pennlate orchardgrass pastures. However, the summer productivity of a Puna chicory pasture after two years did not exceed that of Pennlate orchardgrass. Reduced yield could be related to plant density losses over time and/or a slower re-growth after winter. A plant based grazing strategy was more effective at minimizing but not eliminating plant losses in Puna chicory. Finally, neither Grasslands Lancelot nor Ceres Tonic plantain are appropriate cultivars to be used in the NE region of the USA due to lack of winter tolerance.
Technical Abstract: The bimodal distribution of growth of cool-season grass species generates an imbalance in the amount of forage offered during the summer, which could be improved by using alternative forage species. Several chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) cultivars were evaluated for such purpose and contrasted against Pennlate orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) under different grazing strategies. In 1998, Grasslands Puna chicory and Pennlate orchardgrass achieved similar dry matter (DM) yields both during spring (6511 vs. 7240 kg ha-1, respectively) and summer (3354 vs. 3888 kg ha-1, respectively). Between plantain cultivars, yields similar to Pennlate orchardgrass were achieved by Grassland Lancelot (7357 kg ha-1) in the spring and by Ceres Tonic (3168 kg ha-1) in the summer. Grazing every 3-wk vs. 5 wk reduced DM yield during summer (1669 vs. 4448 kg ha-1, p<0.001). In 2000 and 2001, spring DM yields of Puna chicory were higher than those of Pennlate orchardgrass (5740 vs. 3610 kg ha-1, p<0.05). During summer its DM yield in respect to that of Pennlate orchardgrass varied between years of study. Yield of Lancelot plantain decreased from 2000 to 2001 following decreases in plant density. Our results suggest that the use of Puna chicory may not significantly increase forage availability during the summer and these results may be related to plant density losses after the first year. Neither Grasslands Lancelot nor Ceres Tonic plantain are appropriate cultivars for the NE USA due to low plant survival possibly related to low winter tolerance.