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Asparagus value of individual plant yield and fern characteristics as selection criteria

, : Asparagus value of individual plant yield and fern characteristics as selection criteria. New Zealand Journal of Experimental Agriculture 14(4): 417-420

The yield of individual plants in a population of Asparagus officinalis L. cv. 'Mary Washington 500W' was recorded for the first four and the 9th and 10th harvest seasons. The yield of both male and female plants declined between the two periods. Average yield of males was higher than that of females in all seasons. Therefore, selection of the highest yielding male plants to establish fields of cloned plants may result in higher yields than if the highest yielding female plants were selected. There were significant positive correlations (a) between both market and total yields averaged over the 2nd-4th seasons and market yield averaged over the 9th and 10th seasons for males, and (b) between total yield of females averaged over the 2nd-4th seasons and market yield averaged over the 9th and 10th seasons. No significant correlations were found between fern vigour ratings, number of fern stalks per plant, or average early market yield in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seasons and mean market yield over the 9th and 10th seasons: hence, these characters cannot be used to identify plants that will remain highly productive for 9 or 10 harvest seasons. Conversely, the use of these criteria to select plants in old asparagus fields may not necessarily result in accurate identification of plants that are highly productive in the first four or five years after establishment.


DOI: 10.1080/03015521.1986.10423058

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