Agronomic studies on the productivity of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L. cv. Guatemala 4) under rainfed and irrigated conditions in the Northern Territory
RC Muchow, JD Sturtz, MF Spillman, GE Routley, S Kaplan, CC Martin and RJ Bateman
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
30(3) 395 - 403
Field experiments were conducted at Berrimah, Douglas Daly and Katherine in the Northern Territory (NT) during the 1987-88 and 1988-89 wet seasons to obtain yield data for kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinzis L. cv. Guatemala 4) grown under rainfed and irrigated conditions. Under rainfed conditions, maximum stem yield was obtained from sowings early in the wet season. Yield decreased with delay in sowing until the late-December-January period. The maximum rainfed stem yield at Katherine in an above-average rainfall season was 18 400 kg/ha. The maximum yield in a below average rainfall season was 11 700 kg/ha at Katherine, 9200 kg/ha at Douglas Daly and 9400 kg/ha at Berrimah. The applicability to the NT of growth and yield relationships established for irrigated kenaf in the Ord Irrigation Area (OIA) was assessed. The yield potential under irrigated conditions in the NT (21 600 kg/ha at 131 days after sowing) was higher than that reported elsewhere in Australia for the same growth period, but similar to that reported elsewhere for longer growth duration (180-300 days). In the NT, in contrast to the OIA, stem yield showed little or no response to N fertilisation. Stem yield was not related to N uptake, and at high levels of N application, there was marked N accumulation in the stem. Kenaf was able to accumulate up to 110 kg N/ha from the soil reserve where no N was applied. The yield response to plant density varied with the yield level and was similar to that in the OIA. Bark and core yield could be estimated directly from biomass, and indirectly from stem length and plant density, over a wide range of yield levels and cultural conditions. It was concluded that data relating to yield potential and response to N fertilisation cannot be transferred directly from the OIA to the NT.
Full text doi:10.1071/EA9900395
© CSIRO 1990