We're happy you're interested in learning more about Sunn Hemp and other Petcher Seeds products! Here are some of the questions we receive most frequently. If your question isn't on this page, feel free to click the "Chat" button in the bottom right-hand corner in order to speak directly with a Petcher representative!
Does Sunn Hemp need an inoculant?
We do not recommend using an inoculant in the Southeastern part of the United States. The reason for this is Dr. Robert McSorley (University of Florida) and Dr. Jorge Mosjidis (Auburn University) have researched this and found that sunn hemp does not respond to an inoculant here in our soils. In the Northern United States—from Southern Ohio and above—sunn hemp does respond to the inoculant, which is also used on peanuts.
Can Sunn Hemp be overseeded into pasture land?
We do not find this to be successful. The sunn hemp will germinate and come up growing. However, during periods of drought, the pasture roots or sod will get the moisture and the sunn hemp will typically die for lack of water.
Can Sunn Hemp be grown for hay?
Yes, it can be grown for hay, hay ledge and silage. It is rather difficult, however. Drying time of the stems is lengthy unless you have a mower conditioner. The sunn hemp does not like tractor tire traffic and will typically not grow back in the tractor tire lanes. If you do want to cut it for hay, cut it somewhere between four and six feet tall. Cut it four inches above the ground. And if you get a rain soon thereafter, the sunn hemp may grow back.
How early can we plant Sunn Hemp?
Sunn hemp seed will germinate at 48°F and come in 48 hours. If there is no danger of frost, it will come up and grow. However, if the days are short, it will try to bloom early and will not grow very tall. Waiting for the days to get longer and the temperatures warmer really pays off when planting sunn hemp. Mid-April is usually a good time to plant. Waiting until May is even better!
Can horses eat Sunn Hemp?
We allow our horses to graze the sunn hemp on our farm. Note, however, that the leaves are 30 percent protein. Owners need to take caution as they would with alfalfa or any other high-protein feed.
Is there any animal that cannot eat Sunn Hemp?
We have not yet found an animal that feeds on vegetation that does not thrive on sunn hemp as well.
Why does Petcher not add Sorghum x Sudans to its mixes?
The sorghum x sudans can have problems with prussic acid poisoning. This occurs after a killing frost, and also as the plants are first coming out of the ground. The Sugar Cane Aphid has also caused us problems across the Southeast for the past few years, also making this a problem crop to grow. These are the reasons we do not typically recommend sorghum x sudans in our mixes. We do sell sorghum x sudans, however, as well as put them in mixes by special order.
Why do we not ship Sunn Hemp to Mississippi and Arkansas?
We do not ship Sunn Hemp or mixes involving Sunn Hemp to Mississippi and Arkansas because of these states’ seed regulations. Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) is in the Crotalaria family. There are more than 150 Crotalaria species in the world, 15 of which are used for cover crops. Mississippi and Arkansas seed regulations prohibit all Crotalaria from being sold in their states. There are, to our knowledge, only two Crotalaria species that are truly noxious weeds: Smooth Leaf and Showy Crotolaria.