Spring 2001 Direct Seeding
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Milkweed seeds were planted on May 31, 2001 with a two-row cone planter. Seeds were sown 30 inches apart at a rate of 6 lbs./acre. WIU research is focused on improving stand establishment. Preliminary observations have indicated wild milkweed plants grow under high densities near railroad lines carrying coal. It is believed the coal dust is binding milkweed phytotoxins that prevent milkweed plants from growing next to each other. A planting study has been established to investigate the direct seeding of stratified seed and the effects of coal dust on increasing germination rates. A separate milkweed plot was set-up to determine the optimal dosage rate for the coal dust. Coal dust was applied using a spreader commonly used to line football and baseball fields.

Direct seeding of milkweed

Application of coal dust to milkweed plots

Direct seeding milkweed plots. Excellent germination on all populations. There appears to be no effect of coal dust on germination rates of milkweed seed.  Whether the coal effects second year emergence remains to be seen.  

Picture (7/27/2001)

Comparison of milkweed and cuphea seed to soybean seed.

 

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Last revised: January 23, 2007