Growth characteristics and biomass production of kenaf
Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) is one of the important fibre crops next to cotton, which is planted throughout the world. It is cultivated for its core and bast fibres. Unlike cotton, the fibre of kenaf is obtained from vegetative part of plant. Hence, growth and biomass production of kenaf is a fundamental issue that should be considered for its successful commercial cultivation. This study was designed to elucidate growth and biomass production of three kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) varieties; Guatemala 4 (G4), kohn-kaen 60 (KK60) and V36. 24 plants of each varieties were cultivated in completely randomize design under control conditions throughout a period of 105 days. Parameters of height, diameter and internode were measured within four to six regular intervals of 10 to 15 days, while biomass production parameters of dry one meter stalk mass (DMSM), defoliated plant mass (DPM), one meter stalk mass (MSM) and fresh plant mass (FPM) were measured at harvest time. There was no significant difference between them in terms of diameter and number of internode. However, KK60 was found to have significant higher height than V36 and G4. The varieties, G4 and KK60, showed significant greater fresh plant mass (FPM), defoliated plant mass (DPM), one meter stalk mass (MSM) and dry one meter stalk mass (DMSM) than V36. In all of biomass parameters of FPM, DPM, MSM and DMSM, the highest value belonged to G4 except for DMSM where KK60 showed greater value. Results of this study indicated that G4 is a more efficient variety of kenaf for biomass production compared to the other two varieties of KK60 and V36.
Key words: Kenaf, biomass, growth, internode.