Submitted to: Kenaf Association International Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) is an annual crop which can be successfully produced in a large portion of the United States, particularly in the southern states. Kenaf can be planted in the spring once the soil has warmed and the threat of frost is past. In most areas, kenaf can be planted as early as April or May. Planting can be accomplished by using standard planting equipment in a wide range of low spacings, and can be planted on raised beds or flat ground. Kenaf seed is planted 1/2 to 1 inch deep, and normally emerges within two to four days after planting. Final plant populations of 75,000 to 150,000 plants per acre are desirable for maximum yields and produce single stalk plants with very little or no branching. Though kenaf grows quickly and competes well with weeds, initial weed control is often required. The length of the growing season, the average day and night temperatures, and adequate water will determine the potential kenaf yields. Stalk yields normally range from 5 to 8 tons/acre oven dry weight) depending on the previously listed production factors. Kenaf can be harvested before or after a killing frost in the fall. The harvest methods depends on the production area, the equipment availability, the processing method, and the final product use. In addition to its low economic inputs and high stalk yields, suitable production areas for kenaf will greatly depend on the economics of the competing crops and that of the kenaf market.