Yield and Composition of Buckwheat Biomass Relative to Forage Use

  •  Harbans L. Bhardwaj    
  •  Anwar A. Hamama    


Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench), a pseudo-cereal, has potential as a forage crop, cover crop, grain crop for animal feed and human food, honey bee crop, and a smother crop for weed suppression. Even though, buckwheat has a long history in Virginia, currently this crop is almost non-existent in this area. The New Crops Program of Virginia State University started researching buckwheat in 2015 as an alternate food crop and as a plant to support honey bees. These studies led into evaluation of buckwheat as a forage crop. Approximately 30-day old buckwheat tissue of two cultivars (Koto and Mancan), planted on June 22 or July 20 during 2015, yielded 4784 pounds fresh weight and 1000 pounds dry matter per acre. Buckwheat biomass contained approximately 21 percent protein and approximately 6 percent oil. Quality of buckwheat forage compared well with literature values for alfalfa hay, perennial peanut, soybean, white lupin, and Tepary bean forage.

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