The Response of Lesquerella to Nitrogen Fertilizer Rate and Time of Application
KeywordsAgriculture -- Arizona
Grain -- Arizona
Forage plants -- Arizona
Beans -- Arizona
Oilseeds -- Arizona
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AbstractLesquerella is a plant that grows in the wild in southwestern U.S. and produces seeds containing hydroxy fatty acids similar to those in castor beans. Research has indicated that lesquerella has potential as a crop plant for Arizona. An important step in the commercialization of this plant for Arizona farms is the development of an efficient agronomic production system. Research to determine the effect of nitrogen (N) rates and timing of N applications on lesquerella production was conducted at the Maricopa Agricultural Center in the 1993 -94 and 1995 -96 seasons. Nitrogen application rates of 0 to 108 and 0 to 162 lbs. N /acre were evaluated in 1993 -94 and 1995 -96 tests, respectively. Seed yields as high as 1780 lbs. /acre were obtained in the 1995 -96 test using a conventional combine for harvest. In both tests, lesquerella biomass production and seed yields increased as the N rate was increased. In 1995 -96, a split application of N in March and April resulted in higher seed yields than a single application in March. Seed oil content decreased in both tests as the N rate was increased. In 1995 -96, seed oil content decreased 12% as the N rate was increased from 0 to 162 lbs. N /acre. The N application rate had no effect on 1000 -seed weight.
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