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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Monoculture and polyculture production of kenaf and sunn hemp

item Webber, Charles - Chuck
item Dickstein, Rebecca
item Ayre, Brian
item D'souza, Nandika
item Stevens, Kevin
item Chapman, Kent
item Allen, Michael
item Dagnon, Koffi

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2010
Publication Date: 8/11/2010
Citation: Webber III, C.L., Dickstein, R., Ayre, B.G., D'Souza, N.A., Stevens, K.J., Chapman, K.D., Allen, M.S., Dagnon, K.M. 2010. Monoculture and polyculture P\production of kenaf and sunn hemp [abstract]. 2010 Symposium on Renewable Feedstock for Biofuel and Bio-based Products. August 11-13, 2010, Austin, Texas. p. 44.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) and sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) are fast growing summer annual crops with numerous commercial applications (fibers, biofuels, paper pulp, building materials, cover crops, and livestock forages). Field research was conducted in southeast Oklahoma (Lane, OK) to compare monoculture and polyculture production of these two crops. The experiment was a randomized completely block design with 3 planting regimes, 4 harvest dates, and 4 replications. Kenaf 'Tainung #2' and sunn hemp 'Tropic Sun' were planted on June 1, 2009 on a Bernow fine sandy loam, 0-3% slope (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic Glossic Paleudalf) soil in 4 76-cm rows in plots 3 m wide and 9.1 m long. Kenaf and sunn hemp were each planted as monocultures with final population stands of 430,547 plants/ha, and as a polyculture with a combined plant stand of 430,547 plants/ha. Kenaf and sunn hemp plants were harvested at 45-, 90-, 135-, and 177-days after planting (DAP). Plant height, stalk diameter, leaf and stalk yields were determined for each harvest. Kenaf leaf and stalk yields were greater than sunn hemp when comparing within the polycultures and between the monocultures. Stalk yields and stalk biomass percentages for both crops increased with each harvest date across cropping systems. Leaf biomass percentages decreased with each harvest date and leaf yields peaked at 135 DAP. The monoculture of each crop produced as good or better crop yields and individual stalk parameters (plant weight, plant height and stalk diameter) than the crops grown in a polyculture. These initial results provide no incentive for producing kenaf and sunn hemp in a polyculture, rather than as monocultures.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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