By J.B. Williams, Chief Science Officer, GGO International October 2019
Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), a tall and fibrous plant, is planted in warm regions around the world. Related to cotton and okra, and with fiber long used for cordage and sackcloth, kenaf is traditionally grown in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and, recent advancements have increased the use of kenaf fibers in manufacturing - in composites, pulp and paper, furniture, oil & gas, et al.
Grown in the U.S. since World War 2, kenaf is a seasonal crop in the US, primarily in areas heavy in cotton agriculture. The world kenaf market is projected to exceed $1 billion in the next few years – the US market $50 million – small now, but poised for rapid growth in a US agriculture which is searching for new crops and new opportunities.
In addition to the traditional applications, planting kenaf provides growers with two distinct 21st Century applications. Each starts with physical properties unique to the kenaf plant.
Every acre of kenaf planted can sequester 10-15 tons of carbon per season – more than any other crop. There is no faster way to sequester carbon from the atmosphere than growing kenaf! In addition, Kenaf is used for direct remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.
Kenaf yields increase in high soil fertility, and in a well-drained soil. GGO International builds soil fertility – and builds it quickly - by supporting soil biology, as well as providing nutrients for plants. Why do we do that?? Simple. From “Building Soils to Grow Better Crops”
“The first step in building fertile, healthy soil? Support the beneficial soil bacteria and fungi required for the process of soil building – as these bacteria and fungi live, multiply, and die, they become organic matter – the basis on which a productive, healthy soil is built. This “soil biology” colonizes the root zone of plants – each microbe performing its own, unique function for the plant’s benefit. This symbiosis is part of the soil balance – microbes underground perform work for the plant; the plant feeds them in return. Thriving plants live in soil teeming with these bacterial and fungal helpers – but they are destroyed by treatments of “conventional’ fertilizer, pesticide, and fungicide. And by “conventional”, we mean synthetic. A soil stripped of its microbes by applications loses fertility.”
Like many crops, kenaf establishes beneficial relationships with soil biology - plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and fungal mycorrhizae. Kenaf plants with healthy mycorrhizal activity yield up to 40% increase in height, taproot length, seed and dry fiber production. GGO has decades of experience in increasing yields in all crops with soil biology – with fertility. Let GGO International increase your yields without increasing your fertilizer bill! Product called GGO International’s Revive.
This soil biology – the PGPR and mycorrhizae - also provide protection from common soil pests. These have been applied to protect cotton crops in previous years, and can be applied to kenaf fields to reduce soil pest infestation.
GGO International has natural and organic solutions for diseases most common in kenaf - powdery mildew, Rhizoctonia root rot, Pythium stem rot – as we do for many other crops, from cotton and row crops across North America, to hemp and cannabis – outdoors, indoors and greenhouse grow operations. GGO International’s Plant Armour is proven to treat these diseases.
A common soil pest in US cotton agriculture is the southern root-knot nematode. Since much US kenaf agriculture is on land where cotton was previously grown – or is grown in rotation with cotton – Southern root-knot nematodes are present in many kenaf fields. Although kenaf can tolerate higher nematode infestation rates than cotton can, best practice is to treat for Sothern root-knot nematodes in all cotton and kenaf fields on a regular basis. GGO International has been resolving this issue for farmers across America, reliably and for low cost per acre.
GGO International will custom formulate products for your farm from your soil analysis reports increase your soil’s fertility, and your farm’s yield – contact GGO International today. https://ggointernational.com/
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