Introduction of Koshia plant or carpet broom:
Kochia with the scientific name Kochia scoparia from the Chenopodiaceae family (is an annual herbaceous dicotyledonous plant (Figure 1) that is well adapted to dry areas due to its wide and deep root system. This plant can penetrate the soil up to five meters deep. slow and its lateral roots can spread up to a distance of seven meters. Koshia can grow in very salty soils and is the only plant that can be seen in these places. In fact, Koshia is a leading species in arid and semi-arid areas. This plant can be a suitable plant for first-year cultivation of very salty lands, which the farmer recently intends to cultivate in. Koshia in Iran has clusters in Birjand, Borujerd, Sabzvar, Isfahan and Urmia. It also has a lot of diversity in one cluster. It is leafy in terms of scale.
How are the seeds of the carpet broom or Kosia scoparia cultivated:
Koshia seeds are very small and the weight of 1000 seeds is 2-3 grams. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare the seed bed well. For planting, the seed can be sprinkled on the soil and a little soil is added with a trowel. Spring crop (April) is suitable for fodder production and summer crop (July) is suitable for seed production. In order to produce fodder, about 2 kg of seeds and for the production of seeds about 1 kg of seeds per hectare is enough, provided that the seeds have the proper seeding capacity and are planted correctly. The best distance between the rows is about 50 cm and about 10 cm on the row, in which case the optimal density will be 30 plants per square meter.
What are the characteristics of the carpet broom plant or Kosia scoparia:
One of the advantages of this plant is the high speed of germination and good establishment. Koshia is able to continue growing well until the salinity level is about 21 decisiemens/m and there is no effect on its production. Regarding plant nutrition, in general, this plant needs about 50 kg of phosphate fertilizer and 110 kg of urea fertilizer, and usually it should be given to the plant when its deficiency is felt. The amount of oxalate in the plant is considered a toxic substance. Koshia's water consumption efficiency is 3 times that of alfalfa, which means it is highly efficient in using water. Until 80% of the water requirement of this plant is provided in dry areas, it will not have a significant effect on the reduction of dry matter production. Up to the salinity of 21 decisiemens/meter, applying low irrigation methods and increasing the irrigation cycle will not have much effect on the yield. The amount of production and harvest: Koshia is a short-day plant. According to the weather conditions and planting date, it can produce up to several rows of fodder, which must be kept at a harvest height of 15 centimeters for the regrowth of the plant. Koshia produces up to 25 tons of dry fodder per hectare in spring cultivation (with soil salinity of 21 decisiemens per meter).
The best time to harvest Cochia scoparia:
With the aim of harvesting fodder, it is the end of the budding stage until the beginning of the flowering stage. Fodder quality: Koshia can be added up to 50% in the livestock diet. Its digestibility is comparable to hay. Koshia contains anti-nutritional substances such as saponins, alkaloids and nitrates, all of which increase during severe drought stress and the seed ripening stage. Therefore, the harvest time for fodder must be observed and not more than 50% should be used in the ration and food composition of livestock (the most suitable composition is 20-40%, which does not cause any problems for livestock).
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