The Brazilian semiarid is marked by irregular rain, long periods of drought, high evapotranspiration and temperatures. These conditions are tolerable for safflower species, an oilseed with several uses in cosmetics, fitness, and biofuels industry. The objective was to elucidate the phenological development of Carthamus tinctorius and the bromatological characteristics of the residual biomass, in order to produce this crop in semiarid regions. Three safflower varieties were grown in Brazilian semiarid with three repetitions (18 m² each), 0.5 m between rows and 0.3 m between plants. The plants were drip irrigated, without addition of nutrients and pesticides. The cultivars reduced their development cycle ending in 75 days and the seed yield was 1064.8 kg/ha, not differing between cultivars, without herbivorism or pest action. Dry biomass after harvest had a high fiber (58%) and protein (25%) content, which can be used as animal fodder, adding economic value to the species. The content of Nitrogen insoluble in acid detergent in the residual safflower biomass was low, avoiding the marked decrease in protein digestibility making nitrogen available to microorganisms in the digestive system of ruminants. The characteristics of the species in the Brazilian semiarid, such as reduced reproductive cycle and absence of chemical additives without loss of productivity, provide a reduction in the production cost of the crop and reduced environmental risks such as soil and water contamination. Safflower is a promising crop in semi-arid regions, with low production costs, high productivity and added value, as well as low impact on the local ecosystem.
Prof. Juliana Lichston
Safflower Cultivation in Brazilian Semiarid: Economic and Environmental Perspectives
Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil