plant an invasive or crop?

Asked January 5, 2016, 7:28 PM EST

Plant non latin name called Indian Hemp. Dogbane family. Intelligent choice to grow for fiber in your opinion? Malheur County.

Malheur County Oregon

3 Responses

This plant is a source of fiber. However it is also toxic to dogs and can be invasive in certain circumstances. Fiber tends to be a low value commodity. If you are thinking of growing fiber. How will it be marketed? What price will you receive for the crop. What will the end use be for the fiber? Who will process it and how will it be processed. If you are only growing a small amount, this plant may be used be caution should be exercised. If this plant were grown on a field scale, there are not registered pesticides that can be used on the crop.

Thank you Don for your answer. The invasive nature is highly concerning. If plant harvested for fiber, then it would be cut just before or coincidental with first flower. Flowering lowers quality of fiber. Paiutes used this plant, however not agrinomically. Goal would be in a rotation consuming 10-20 acres with a 3 year rotation. Hugely important is leave fiberless plant fallow so as to boost microbial organics for 2nd crop in rotation: potato and 3rd crop: onion. As far as commodity economics goal is only $2000.00/acre. Comparison to hemp (canabis) cannot be ignored....Your thoughts?

The first step is to have a market for the fiber. $2000/acre for fiber seems way out of range. Fiber crop prices are in the neighborhood of $100/ton maybe up to what hay prices, which may be up to $250/ton. Unless you have some value added market. A fiber crop will have low value. Planting, weed control, harvest, processing, storage are all important when raising fiber. Can you envision how these will be done? at what cost? and with what kind of equipment and labor?
is the 20 acres part of larger operations?