AGRONOMIC EVALUATION OF OPUNTIA SPP. VARIETIES FOR FODDER PRODUCTION IN THE SEMIARID NORTHEAST, BRA-ZIL
Three field trials were conducted at Petrolina, Brazil: I) From Dec. 1994 to Jan. 1998, 30 varieties at a density of 7,143 pads/ha were established. In November 1996, a visual evaluation of the armored scale insect (Diaspis echinocacti) attack was performed. In the first harvest, the mean yield was 2.46 ±1.86 ton DM/ha/year. Eleven varieties showed similar yield than Palma Gigante (PG) (2.85 ton DM), the most cultivated in the region (P>0.05), they showed tolerance to armored scale but PG was susceptible. 1267-Algeria Fodder showed high maintenance of stand even after a drought. II) From Apr. 2000 to Apr. 2004, 20 varieties were evaluated at density of 20,000 plants/ha, (the best eight from the previous study, three local ones, and nine from IPA, a local research institution). In a unique harvest, the mean yield was 6.21 ±2.82 t DM. Again, most varieties yielded more than PG (5.65 ton DM). Two varieties, 1278-Mexico Fodder and 1311-Marmillon Fodder, in addition to high yield (8.71 and 7.59 ton DM respectively), presented shorter diameter (0.88 and 0.78 m respectively vs. 1.05 m for PG) suitable for intercropping; and vertical growth, appropriated for transportation from field to pen. III) From Apr. 2000 to May 2004: COPENA-F1 and COPENA-V1 were compared to four local varieties, including PG, at a density of 20,000 plants/ha. mean yield of one harvest was 6.40 ±2.13 t DM. PG (10.81 t) did not differ (P>0.05) from COPENA-F1 (7.70 tons). These three accessions are promoted for plantation under controlled diffusion.
Gonzaga de Albuquerque, S. and Cordeiro dos Santos, D. (2006). AGRONOMIC EVALUATION OF OPUNTIA SPP. VARIETIES FOR FODDER PRODUCTION IN THE SEMIARID NORTHEAST, BRA-ZIL. Acta Hortic. 728, 183-188
forage cactus pear, productivity, Diaspis echinocacti, Petrolina