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Star Seed, Inc.
PO Box 228
101 Industrial Ave.
Osborne, KS 67473
Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) is a member of the legume family (Fabaceae) and has been recognized with great potential since the 1930's. While Sunn hemp was originally studied for commercialization as a multi-purpose crop for fiber production, more recent interest is for use as a cover crop with many soil health benefits. However, lack of reliable seed supply has limited exposure and consideration for Sunn hemp, a tropical plant with all seed production overseas. Because of growing cover crop interest in high plains no-till agriculture, Star Seed has invested and is bringing Sunn hemp to our customers this summer.
Plant SunnHemp into moisture and up to 2 to 2.5" deep and in a wide range of soil types from low pH and up to pH of 7.5. SunnHemp thrives in warm (hot) weather and will tolerate drought and low fertility once established.
Sunn hemp must be inoculated; pre-inoculated seed with the proper rhizobia bacteria (different than soybeans). Without proper inoculation, Sunn hemp will not fix nitrogen and will not deliver this important soil benefit demanded by cover crop enthusiasts. When comparing seed sources, be sure to understand inoculation and readiness of the seed to plant.
SunnHemp is an excellent consideration after wheat, for fields rotating to corn, sorghum, sunflowers, or any other non-legume crop the following spring/summer. SunnHemp can also be considered between two wheat crops with plentiful moisture as it can reach a height of 40" in 35 to 40 days of growth under favorable growing conditions.
SunnHemp will be killed with the first hard frost or may be sprayed with phenoxy/dicamba/glyphosate combinations at 40 to 48" of height. Alternatively, mechanical cutting of SunnHemp is a consideration. Care should be given under favorable growing conditions to prevent over growth that can cause planting challenges the following crop planting cycle.
Suggested Seeding Rate: 7-10 lbs. per acre
Approximately 15,000 seeds per lb.