How does one get started in the kenaf industry for their particular needs and wants?
"Right here at Kenaf Partners USA"
Myself and many of our current partners have asked where do we start and how do we get started?
It is from the Permaculture Design courses I learned about the many benefits of plant guilds and how different plants provide different benefits to other plants. Working together each plant thrives and a state of regeneration comes into existence. With this in mind I hope we find a way to work together and share our talents, resources and knowledge in a way that benefits each of us and we become a "Regenerative Sharing Community".
You are not alone and it will take a team of partners to help you get started and keep your business growing! This is your place to learn, share and connect with others in this new industry.
Selecting the right seed, connecting with buyers, sellers, investors, farmers, processors, manufacturers and entrepreneurs and the sharing of information for decision making and more, begins right here.
It started in 2011 having a discussion with a veteran Permaculture Designer about the importance of watersheds and watershed management. As a result I have looked into various aspects of this topic and found important statistics that I could not overlook. It was the culmination of these statistics and getting through the processes to get to the bottom of "why" regarding flooding, drought, pollution, human health, environmental health, economics in the USA etc. that drove my hunger to find an entry point that made sense and could have a beneficial outcome in each of these areas. What I have discovered is kenaf has the potential of improving conditions in each of these areas.
Statistics Affecting and Related to our Largest Watershed
The list goes on!
I see introducing kenaf as a rotational cash crop to farmers as a way of helping them transition gradually through the steps of sustainability, resilience and ultimately regenerative practices while improving their bottom line. In addition proper soil testing, proper plant spacing, key-line plowing on contour, diverse cover cropping, little or no till can help our farmers lower input costs, increase yield and their profit too, as part of their transition!
This can be done by lowering input costs, increasing yield and profit while they continue to grow corn, soy, cotton and wheat. The introduction of kenaf, diverse cover crops, little or no-til, key-line plowing, proper soil testing and sustainable amendments for optimum soil health can be part of the transition process, depending on site condition and layout, available resources and community specifics. Utilizing all of these successful actions where and when appropriate would be the ideal scene. It is the ideal scene that we want to work towards and take actions over time based on results.
By introducing these things and making kenaf seed available and grown in the USA, the farmer can start eliminating pollution on site and help restore the Mississippi Watershed while improving the quality of their own life and the lives of others.
Sounds like it could work, but what could possibly prevent this from occurring? The same answer to that question could also be the same for the question "What do we need to do, to make it happen"? Our current estimate is we will need 600,000 acres of seed growing operations in the USA, to provide enough seed for 11% of the acres currently growing corn, soy, cotton and wheat. This is the first thing that needs to happen. Without a sufficient supply of viable and affordable seed, the rest becomes a mute point.
Once we have enough kenaf seed available for our farmers to start using kenaf as a rotational cash crop, kenaf fiber growing operations can begin and start supplying USA processors and manufacturers with the quantity and quality of kenaf fibers and wood they need.
We are currently discovering what seed varieties of kenaf will produce seed in each state. We have 31 varieties pre-selected and the germination reports are coming in. At the end of our 2019 season we will know what seed varieties meet our germination seed yield requirements. This is one key point the Kenaf Seed Pilot Program is designed for. See Research
Planning ahead goes hand in hand with strategic planning. We know we will need equipment and infrastructure for seed growing operations as well as fiber and wood growing operations. Connecting farmers and investors and lab results for each kenaf variety for manufacturers and processors at these early stages will contribute to the overall success of the kenaf industry in the USA. Like the boy scouts motto "be prepared"!
At the end of the 2019 Research, we will have valuable information that can be used to predict a number of factors needed to plan for the 2020 seed growing season and beyond.
If you want to make small changes, change how you do things. If you want to make major changes, change how you see things. Don Campbell
Our solutions at Kenaf Partners USA Headquarters are to address this strategically, connecting the players who can work out the details of doing business with each other.
Over 20 years ago the USDA did research on kenaf in nearly every US state with a positive recommendation as a rotational crop. First we need the seed supply grown in the USA to handle the demand now and in the future.
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