Kenaf can be used for food-fodder-forage. Lets' cover the food use first. Gongura is a plant, either Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) or Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), grown for its edible leaves in India. Gongura pacchadi is quintessentially Telugu cuisine along with pacchadi (chutney or relish).
Did you know that Kenaf plant absorbs Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere more than any other crop. About 1.5 tons of CO2 is needed for a production of 1 ton of dry matter of kenaf. It means that every acre of kenaf consumes 12-16 tons of CO2 for each growing cycle?
Kenaf has been grown for feed and has been harvested as silage as well as pressed into feed pellets. Based on past research of 3 cultivars of kenaf no significant difference in nutrient values. See partial chart below.
Based on things we know about grazers (cattle, sheep...) and browsers (deer) and observations of 3 small kenaf plots in northern Michigan, kenaf would be a good addition to deer plots. No conclusive research has yet been found that would indicate that kenaf could be used for cattle grazing. Like alfalfa, kenaf is grown (other than growing for seed) to harvest, chop and store in a silage before feeding to grazers.
The 3 small kenaf plots we grew in northern Michigan were devoured by deer around 55-60 days after sprouting. This time period is said to be the sweet spot for whitten kenaf which was the cultivar used in this experiment.
So why not grow for all three uses when possible, feeding humans, your grazing animals and your local browsers with kenaf food-fodder-forage.
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