Preliminary Evaluation of White Lupin (Lupinus albus L.) as a Forage Crop in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States of America

  •  Harbans Bhardwaj    
  •  David Starner    
  •  Edzard van Santen    


White lupin (Lupinus albus L.), a winter legume, is being evaluated in Virginia as a grain and a winter legume
cover crop. There is however scanty information available about lupin’s potential to provide forage. This study
was, therefore, conducted to determine the potential of white lupin as a forage crop and to characterize effects of
genotypes and growing locations on forage yield and quality. Twenty lines were grown at three locations in
Virginia (Orange, Petersburg, and Suffolk), during 2003-04 crop growing season using four replications of a
Randomized Complete Block Design. Data on fresh and dry matter yield, crude protein, and acid detergent fiber
(ADF) were recorded. The fresh matter yields varied from 6.5 to 12.6 Mg/ha with Petersburg location exhibiting
the highest fresh matter yield whereas Orange location exhibited the lowest fresh matter yield. This was also true
for dry matter yields which were 0.8, 2.0, and 1.1 Mg/ha for Orange, Petersburg, and Suffolk locations,
respectively. The mean crude protein contents were 16.7, 21.3, and 18.1 percent whereas the mean ADF contents
were 18.9, 21.2, and 30.4 percent for the Orange, Petersburg, and Suffolk locations, respectively. These
differences were attributed to differences in temperatures during lupin growth and soil types at different
locations. The Orange location is considered a cooler environment whereas Suffolk is considered a warmer
environment with Petersburg being intermediate in temperature. The soil type and soil pH at Orange, Petersburg,
and Suffolk locations were Star silty clay loam and 6.9, Abel sandy loam and 6.2, and Rains fine sandy loam and
5.6, respectively. Auburn-04 was identified to be a high yielding white lupin lines for forage yield (10.7 Mg/ha)
and protein content (19.1 percent). The results of this preliminary study indicated that white lupin is a potential
forage crop for the mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America. We suggest that further studies be
conducted to confirm our results and to determine lupin’s forage yields under additional environments in the
mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America and elsewhere.

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