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Chicory Is a Biological Plow and Sponge, All in One (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 07:41:19 -0700
From: Lon J. Rombough <email@example.com>
To: SANET <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Subject: FW: Chicory Is a Biological Plow and Sponge, All in One
From: "ARS News Service" <email@example.com>
To: "ARS News List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Chicory Is a Biological Plow and Sponge, All in One
Date: Thu, Jun 24, 1999, 6:48 AM
Chicory Is a Biological Plow and Sponge, All in One
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Don Comis, (301) 504-1625, email@example.com
June 24, 1999
Chicory, a hardy plant that can survive the sidewalk jungle, may be just the
thing for pastoral rigors as well, according to a scientist with the
Agricultural Research Service, USDA's chief scientific wing.
With its carrot-like taproot, chicory can plow its way down to great depths
through hard, marginal soils--and even cracks in a sidewalk. In a pasture,
it relentlessly recycles excess soil nitrogen into protein for livestock
before the nitrogen can pollute groundwater. The deep rooting could also
explain how chicory stays green and leafy in hot, dry summers--to keep
feeding sheep and cattle after most pasture plants have stopped growing.
Chicory's nitrogen appetite seems endless. ARS agronomist David P. Belesky
found that this biological sponge can soak it up even at commercial
fertilizer rates as high as 425 pounds an acre.
At ARS' Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center in Beaver, W.Va.,
Belesky and colleagues have been testing three varieties--Grasslands Puna,
Forage Feast and Lacerta--on Appalachian pastures for the past four years.
Now they're checking the plant's appetite for nitrogen, phosphorus and other
nutrients in composted turkey litter cleaned from turkey houses. It could
become the preferred fertilizer for pastures in West Virginia, because it is
inexpensive and readily available from nearby turkey farms. British United
Turkeys of America, a turkey-production firm with breeding operations in
southern West Virginia, is helping with the tests.
Belesky and colleagues are testing the chicory in a pasture mix of
orchardgrass and white clover. They want to see whether the deep-rooting
chicory and orchardgrass can soak up any nitrogen and water missed by the
shallow-rooting clover. A story about the research appears in the June
issue of ARS' Agricultural Research magazine and on the web at:
Scientific contact: David P. Belesky, ARS Appalachian Farming Systems
Research Center, 1224 Airport Rd., Beaver, WV 25813-9423; phone (304)
256-2841, fax (304) 256-2921, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This item is one of the news releases and story leads that ARS Information
distributes on weekdays to fax and e-mail subscribers. You can also get the
latest ARS news on the World Wide Web at
* Feedback and questions to ARS News Service via e-mail: email@example.com.
* ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD
20705-5128, (301) 504- 1617, fax 504-1648.
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