Effect of Salinity on Morphological Characteristics, Yield and Yield Components of Kochia (Kochia scoparia L.)



Kochia is a halophyte plant and is a good source of forage for livestock under saline irrigation. In order to investigate the salinity effect on morphological and forage characteristics of kochia, an experiment was conducted. Three saline waters (5.2, 10.5 and 23.1 dS m-1) and three kochia ecotypes (Birjand, Borujerd and Sabzevar) were allocated as main and sub plots, respectively, in a split plot design based on a CRBD with three replications. There were no significant effects on plant height, branch numbers, dry matter yield, forage dry matter, stem and leaves percentage and stem dry matter by increasing salinity from 5.2 to 23.1 dS-1m,. Average of dry matter yield of 9.1 ton.h-1, percentage of dry matter of 29.85 and percentage of stem and leaf of 57.94 were recorded. Fresh forage yield, stem diameter and leaf dry matter yield were reduced by increasing salinity. Birjand showed the maximum plant height, dry matter yield, dry matter percentage, leaf yield, leaf percentage, leaf dry matter percentage and leaf to stem ratio. In conclusion, Kochia had good traits such as plant height, appropriate leaf to stem ratio, large number of branches and acceptable fresh and dry matter yield in saline condition that can make Kochia a suitable candidate for forage crop.