- White, G.A.
Chemurgic Crop Investigations, Crops Research
- Cummins, D.G.
University of Georgia
- Whiteley, E.L.
Texas A&M University, College Station
- Fike, W.T.
North Carolina State University
- Greig, J.K.
Kansas State University
- Martin, J.A.
- Killinger, G.B.
University of Florida
- Higgins, J.J.
Crops Research Division, Glenn Dale, MD
- Clark, T.F.
Fibrous Products Investigations, Northern Utilization Research and Development Division, Peoria, IL
Kenaf is a promising new U.S. crop source of raw material for pulp. It is a fast-growing, productive plant with fairly wide adaptation. Excellent, high-yielding pulps are easily obtained.No known diseases or insect pests seriously injure kenaf. The better known Cuban, Floridian, and Guatemalan varieties are resistant to the serious disease, anthracnose. The most serious production pests are nematodes. Kenaf is highly susceptible to root-knot nematodes and other nematode species. Breeding efforts to develop nematode-resistant varieties need to be intensified.
Utilization studies on composition, fiber dimensions, pulping processes, and kenaf-wood blends have been conducted. Kenaf contains less lignin, crude cellulose, and alpha cellulose than either softwoods or hardwoods but about twice as much pentosans as softwoods. Fiber dimensional characteristics of kenaf stalks are intermediate to those of softwoods and hardwoods. Blending results indicate good possibilities for kenaf-wood pulp blends in various types of papers. More research using kenaf in selected blends and as total furnished for specific types of paper is needed. Kenaf should prove to be a versatile raw material for various pulping applications. Its suitability as a versatile pulping material coupled with desirable agronomic attributes shows kenaf to be a very promising new crop prospect.