Multi-environment assessment of a yellow hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) cultivar's eco-physiology and productivity under varying levels of nitrogen fertilisation

Henri Blandinières*, Michele Croci, Giorgio Impollonia, Andrea Marcone, Alan Gay, Ana Winters, Sarah Palmer, Stefano Amaducci

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Yellow stalked cultivars of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) were reported to have a superior fibre processability than green cultivars, but the effects of the yellow trait on productivity and ecophysiology of hemp remain unexplored. It is hypothesised that yellow stalked cultivars are characterised by a low Nitrogen Uptake Efficiency. Three field scale experiments involving a yellow cultivar ('Fibror 79') and a green one ('Futura 75') grown under varying levels of nitrogen fertilisation were conducted in Northern Italy and in Wales, to investigate the effects of the yellow trait on hemp productivity and eco-physiology. The results showed that 'Fibror 79' displays a slightly lower biomass productivity than 'Futura 75' under nitrogen-limiting conditions, owing to lower Leaf Area Index and light interception capacity during the early growth phase, and potentially due to a lower radiation use efficiency. However, the productivity was not significantly different between cultivars under non-limiting nitrogen conditions. The Nitrogen Uptake Efficiency did not differ between the two cultivars, which failed to support the hypothesis of this work. Instead, Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Nitrogen Utilisation Efficiency were significantly higher for 'Futura 75' than for 'Fibror 79' under nitrogen-limiting conditions. 'Futura 75' appeared better suited than 'Fibror 79' for dual- and multi-purpose production in Italy, while the reverse was true in Wales. 'Fibror 79' better suits a strategy of single-use fibre production owing to its higher bast fibre content and fibre yield.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116360
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
Volume195
Early online date09 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2023

Keywords

  • Leaf area index
  • Light absorbance
  • Light interception
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen use efficiency
  • Productivity
  • Yellow hemp

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