Fodder Mallows

Fodder Mallows


annual herbaceous plants of the genus Malva of the family Malvaceae used as fodder. The following species are of the greatest value: curled mallow (Malva crispa), M. meluca, M. verticillata, and M. mohileviensis. These earlyripening, cold-resistant plants are suitable for cultivation in many zones of the USSR. Fodder mallow yields a succulent and tender fodder of high nutritional value and is cultivated principally for silage. During the flowering stage 100 g of green plant material in the flowering phase yields 3.8-4 kg of digestible protein and 17-20 fodder units. Dry mass harvested at the beginning of flowering yields 50-58 mg percent carotene, 350-370 mg percent ascorbic acid, and significant quantities of phosphorus and iron. There is little cellulose in young plants.

Fodder mallow is readily eaten by cattle, sheep, and goats in green form and in the form of silage in mixture with corn, fodder cabbage, and sunflowers. During its vegetative period, fodder mallow often yields two cuttings of green mass, with a total harvest of 200-700 centners per ha. The seed yields are high— up to 10-15 centners per ha. For green fodder and grass meal fodder mallow is harvested at the beginning of flowering; for silage, when the lower fruits ripen. The areas of commercial plantings of fodder mallow in the USSR are small.

Fodder mallow is sown in the spring or early summer in widely spaced rows on fertile, nonacid, light soils that are free from weeds. Before sowing the soil is carefully leveled and packed, so that the small seeds can be planted at a depth no greater than 2 cm. At the principal plowing and spring cultivation fertilizers are applied. The shoots of fodder mallow are very small and grow slowly for four or five weeks; for this reason, in order to control weeds, it is necessary to work the soil between rows and spray the plants with herbicides. The varieties Dnieper and Silage were regionalized in 1972. There are no commercial plantings of fodder mallow outside the USSR.


Medvedev, P. F. Novye kormovye kul’tury SSSR. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Kormovye rasteniia senokosov i pastbishch SSSR, vol. 3. Edited by I. V. Larin. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.