Cover Crop Solutions LLC this week announced the launch of its new Tillage Sunn brand of Sunn Hemp seed.
Sunn Hemp, a species unrelated to the marijuana plant also called hemp, is a tropical plant used in Africa, Asia and South America for animal forage, soil improvement and fiber production. In North America Sunn Hemp is a warm season nitrogen-producing legume that reduces nematode populations and adds organic biomass to improve soil quality when used as a cover crop.
"As one of the few warm season legumes on the market, Tillage Sunn is a powerful management tool for farmers with many benefits," said David Weaver, Cover Crop Solutions CEO.
Planted after cash crop harvest in most cases, Tillage Sunn grows rapidly and within 60 days adds nitrogen plus approximately two and a half tons of biomass. It may also be used for planting 'prevent acres,' farmland damaged by flood or drought.
The plant can reach 10' or more if planted in late spring. It can be planted any time after the last average frost date, and up until eight weeks before the first average frost date. Freezing temperatures kill Tillage Sunn.
Tillage Sunn should be terminated at first flower. This achieves maximum benefit and prevents stalks from becoming too fibrous. Some farmers use a roller to form a dense mat of stalks and foliage that protects the soil surface from crusting under rainfall and allow moisture to penetrate the root zone. The mat biodegrades over winter while helping keep soil temperatures moderated.
Tillage Sunn tolerates dry conditions and helps restore soil biology following flood or drought. Tillage Sunn can be planted as a mix along with Tillage Radish and Sorghum Sudan Grass.