Coriander is a crop of worldwide importance, although it is more commonly used for its fruits than as a green herb (Diederichsen, 1996). The name given to the green herb varies regionally, but the Spanish name “cilantro” is commonly used in the Americas.
Cilantro is one of several herbs being studied for production as an extraction processing crop in Oklahoma. Mechanical harvest and high yields will be necessary to produce the volume of fresh product needed to profitably run an extraction facility. Initial trials did not result in adequate product volume. Limited guidance was available for improving yield, because relatively few of the studies on cultural practices for coriander have focused on its production as a green herb (Diederichsen, 1996). Diederichsen (1996) recommended a sowing rate of 3 to 20 kg·ha−1 for production of coriander fruits but a sowing rate of 50 to 55 kg·ha−1 for production of cilantro. Laemmlen and Smith (1998) described a cilantro production system for California using raised beds 97 to 102 cm wide with two seedlines per bed, sowing rates of 28 to 112 kg·ha−1, and a desired population of two to four plants/in2 (6.45 cm2) of seed line. Mangan et al. (2001) grew cilantro at various seedling densities (reported as 3, 13, 23, 33, and 53 plants/ft, roughly equivalent to 10, 42, 75, 108, and 174 plants/m) and obtained increased fresh weight with increased seedling density. Therefore, we hypothesized that a relatively high plant population might improve yield.
Another approach to increase the yield of a machine-harvested leafy greens crop is to use gibberellic acid (GA) to increase crop height at harvest. Gonzalez and Marx (1983) found that, for spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) sown in late summer or fall, 20 g·ha−1 of GA applied 2 weeks before harvest improved plant height and yields. Dainello et al. (1985) got the best fall spinach yield response with GA3 at 15 to 20 g·ha−1 applied 7 to 14 d before harvest. Johnson et al. (1989) recommended GA3 at 9 to 17 g·ha−1 applied 7 to 12 d before harvest for fall spinach. Gibberellin promotes flowering in several long-day species (Lang, 1957), but unlike spinach, cilantro has little or no sensitivity to photoperiod for flowering (Diederichsen, 1996). Therefore, we hypothesized that GA might be useful for improving cilantro production.
This research was designed to increase cilantro yields by increasing the plant population on the standard 1.8-m-wide beds used for machine harvest and to examine the potential of GA as a harvest aid to increase machine recovery of raw product.
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Gonzalez, A.R. & Marx, D.B. 1983 Effect of gibberellic acid on yield and quality of fall-harvested and overwintered spinach J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 108 647 651
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Laemmlen, F.F. & Smith, R. 1998 Cilantro production in California Univ. of Calif., Div. of Agr. and Natural Resources. Pub. 7236
Mangan, F. , Kozower, C. , Barker, A. , Bramlage, W. , Costello, H. , Anderson, M. , Baranek, J. , Sullivan-Werner, L. , Anziani, D. , Caminero, F. , Johnson, K. , Pearson, M. & Webber, D. 2001 Effects of organic soil amendments, seeding density, cultivar selection, and postharvest practices on cilantro (Coriandrum sativum L.) yield quality Proc. Interamerican Soc. Trop. Hort. 43 6 10
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Mangan, F. Kozower, C. Barker, A. Bramlage, W. Costello, H. Anderson, M. Baranek, J. Sullivan-Werner, L. Anziani, D. Caminero, F. Johnson, K. Pearson, M. Webber, D. 2001 Effects of organic soil amendments, seeding density, cultivar selection, and postharvest practices on cilantro (Proc. Interamerican Soc. Trop. Hort. Coriandrum sativumL.) yield quality 43 6 10
Meena, S.S. & Malhotra, S.K. 2006 Effect of sowing time, nitrogen and plant growth regulators on green leaf yield of coriander Haryana J. Hort. Sci. 35 310 311
Panda, M.R. , Chatterjee, R. , Pariari, A. , Chattopadhyay, P.K. , Sharangi, A.B. & Alam, K. 2007 Effect of growth regulators on growth, yield and quality of coriander Indian J. Hort. 64 369 371
Verma, P. & Sen, N.L. 2008 The impact of plant growth regulators on growth and biochemical constituents of coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) J. Herbs Spices Med. Plants 14 144 153