Submitted to: Kenaf Association International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 21, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Kenaf is a fiber-producing plant that is related to cotton, okra, and hollyhocks. The outer part of the stem produces long fibers that can be used for paper and cloth. The inside of the stalk produces a "core" material that is highly absorbent and can be used for many purposes when high absorbency is desired. Kenaf is a drought tolerant plant and can grow with as little as 14 inches of rainfall; but the more rain (or irrigation) it receives, the greater the stem yields. Irrigation and dryland tests were conducted with several cultivars of kenaf in 1995. The results showed that kenaf cultivars differ considerable in the amount of stem weight they can produce with a given amount of irrigation or rain. Also, some cultivars are more resistant than others to nematodes (a small pest that invades the roots and reduces stem yields). These finding are important because they enable kenaf growers to make wiser choices when choosing cultivars for their particular growing conditions.
Technical Abstract: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) was grown under dryland and irrigated conditions at Big Spring and Lamesa, Texas in 1995. The water use efficiency (kg of stem weight per mm of water received as rainfall or irrigation) for Everglades 41 averaged 5.9 for the dryland tests and 8.0 for the irrigated tests. The nematode-resistant cultivar SF 459 had a stem yield of 2638 kg/ha under dryland conditions, and 9014 kg/ha under irrigation at Lamesa where nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) were abundant. Under the same conditions, Everglades 41 stem yields were 1768 and 7240 kg/ha, respectively.