Sunn hemp a good option during ‘summer slump’

On-farm trials were conducted in three Southeast Kansas counties to observe sunn hemp's potential as a summer annual forage to supplement tall fescue pastures.

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November 27, 2023 - 3:06 PM

Photo by GRAPH COURTESY OF KANSAS EXTENSION

In 2023, on-farm trials were conducted in three Southeast Kansas counties under partnership between local producers and their respective Extension districts. The goal of these trials was to observe sunn hemp’s potential as a summer annual forage to supplement tall fescue pastures during the “summer slump.” If producers are able to provide high quality forage during the summer slump, less feed supplementation could be used and other tall fescue paddocks could be allowed longer rest periods.

Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) is an annual, warm season legume native to India. It has traditionally been used as a fiber crop, but it has gained popularity in the United States as a cover crop. 

Recent studies from Missouri University have shown sunn hemp to be a productive annual forage option that is high in protein and carries negligible bloat risk.

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