|Bledsoe, V.K. - TEXAS A&M COMMERCE, TX|
|Bledsoe, R.E. - LADONIA MARKET CENTER|
Submitted to: National Symposium on New Crops
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The diversity of kenaf's useful plant components is paralleled by even a greater diversity of harvesting and processing systems that can produce an increasing number of potential commercial products. Understanding the crop's composition and the desired end products is key to selecting the optimum harvest and processing system. Sufficient technology and equipment is already available or easily adapted for use with kenaf. Usin existing equipment, which is also utilized with other local cropping systems, can be economically advantageous by spreading the capital expanse over a greater number of crops and uses. Increased kenaf commercialization does not seem to be limited by either agronomic production or the availability of suitable harvesting and processing systems, but understanding the harvesting and production systems in relationship to kenaf production and products will enhance the management of this crop as it continues to compete in the marketplace.
Technical Abstract: The increased diversity of harvesting and processing methods have strengthened the potential avenues for commercial development of kenaf. Researchers, producers, and businesses have developed and adapted harvesting and processing systems that either use locally available equipment, increasing the harvesting and transportation efficiency, or developed processing systems for specific kenaf markets. The purpose of this review is to summarize these diverse harvesting and processing systems. Research and development has moved from the simple hand harvesting and retting of kenaf bast fibers to harvesting equipment specifically designed for kenaf and new high tech uses for the fibers. The natural low density of kenaf stalks has motivated the industry to produce numerous equipment adaptations and unique approaches to increase the density to optimize the handling, storage, and transportation efficiency of fthe kenaf plant material. As the processing of kenaf increased the density of the plant material, the commercial applications for the kenaf fibers also increased. The diverse harvesting and processing possibilities need to be correctly understood in order to select the optimum harvesting and processing system best adapted to the commercial uses of kenaf in the United States and around the world.