The relationship between chicon quality and lateral root formation in witloof chicory (Cichorium intybus L.)
In a related study, it was established that the use of an ebb-and-flood irrigation method during forcing of the taproots of witloof chicory (Cichorium intybus L) could be used to increase lateral root formation. In this study, five irrigation treatments were used and lateral root formation as well as chicon yield and quality were monitored. Leaf yield was not significantly affected by the irrigation treatments. Standard EU grades were used to develop a parametric chicon quality index (Ql). Taking into account that all conditions except for the irrigation treatments, were controlled and identical for all experimental units, a tendency of an inverse relationship between lateral root formation and chicon quality was found. An aeroponic irrigation system significantly increased lateral root development but produced the lowest QI. Since potential income is dependent on both chicon quality and leaf yield, these parameters were combined and showed that the best potential income was obtained with the ebb-and-flood irrigation method, a promising alternative to be further investigated.