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Abstract

Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.), a warm-season annual plant, has shown potential as an alternate source of fiber in the United States. Although preliminary research has indicated feasibility of kenaf production in Virginia, production details are lacking. Field experiments were conducted during 1995 and 1996 to determine optimal row spacing and fertilizer needs, and to compare available kenaf cultivars. Although results indicated that differences in dry matter yields from four row spacings (30, 60, 90, and 120 cm) and four rates each of N, P, and K fertilizers (50, 100, 150, and 200 kg ha-1) were not statistically different, the yields were adequate ranging from 8.8 to 16.0 t ha-1 with an average yield of 12.5 t ha-1. Dry matter yields for narrow-leaf cultivars proved superior to broad-leaf, and the overall results demonstrate that kenaf can be easily produced in Virginia.

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