This article is from ECHO Asia Note #3

Crotalaria juncea, or sunn hemp, is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae) grown in many countries as a green manure or forage crop. Originating in South Asia, but with a common cultivar developed in Hawaii, it is a fastgrowing, drought-tolerant and aesthetically pleasing plant with real potential for integrated farming in the tropics.

Because sunn hemp is a strong nitrogen fixer with a reported resistance to root knot nematodes, and can be incorporated into the soil with little more than a month of growth, it can be used rotationally between primary crop plantings in both paddy and dryland fields. However, as sunn hemp needs well-drained soils, it does not seem appropriate for paddy farmers with drainage problems. The crop is also grown as forage and fiber, especially in South Asia. However, it is not a true hemp of the Cannabis genus.


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Crotalaria juncea, a promising green manure crop for the tropics

Jeff Rutherford

This article is from ECHO Asia Note #3

Crotalaria juncea, or sunn hemp, is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae) grown in many countries as a green manure or forage crop. Originating in South Asia, but with a common cultivar developed in Hawaii, it is a fastgrowing, drought-tolerant and aesthetically pleasing plant with real potential for integrated farming in the tropics.

Because sunn hemp is a strong nitrogen fixer with a reported resistance to root knot nematodes, and can be incorporated into the soil with little more than a month of growth, it can be used rotationally between primary crop plantings in both paddy and dryland fields. However, as sunn hemp needs well-drained soils, it does not seem appropriate for paddy farmers with drainage problems. The crop is also grown as forage and fiber, especially in South Asia. However, it is not a true hemp of the Cannabis genus.


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