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Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering >> 2018, Volume 5, Issue 1 doi: 10.15302/J-FASE-2017196

Influence of harvest date on seed yield and quality in forage kochia

. Department of Plants, Soils, and Climate, Utah State University, UT 84322-4820, USA.. USDA-ARS, Forage and Range Research Laboratory, UT 84322-6300, USA.. Department of Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences, Utah State University, UT 84322-4815, USA

Accepted: 2018-02-07 Available online: 2018-03-21

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Forage kochia ( ) is used for rangeland reclamation and livestock and wildlife forage, but limited research has been conducted on its seed production. Therefore, this research evaluated the effect of harvest date on seed weight, germination, and seed yield of forage kochia subspecies and . Seed was harvested from individual plants for 3 years during October, November, and December. October harvest had the lightest 100-seed weights, with the November harvest slightly heavier than December, for most accessions. Cultivar Snowstorm and breeding line Sahsel, both subsp. , had the greatest 100-seed weights in November, 155 and 143 mg, respectively, whereas, cv. Immigrant (subsp. ), the standard for forage kochia, ranked among the least for 100-seed weight. For most accessions, germination was lowest from the October harvest (11%–43%), with greater germination with November and December harvested seeds (43%–64%). Viable seed yields were greatest in November with the exception of two accessions, which peaked in October, indicating earlier maturity. Results indicate that forage kochia usually reaches optimum seed maturity by early November, after plants are exposed to freezing temperatures; however, earlier maturing accessions exist in both subspecies and .

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