What is Sunhemp?

What is Sunhemp?

Sunhemp (Crotalaria juncea) is a fast-growing pulse grown for green manure as well as fiber crops. When it mixes well with the soil, it prevents leaching and loss of nutrients and also keeps the soil moist. Sunhemp comes from India. It can be grown in adverse climates of drought, alkalinity, and salinity. In India, it is cultivated in all states. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Orissa, and Uttar Pradesh are the main mushroom growing states, mainly for fiber production.

Botanical description

Annual herb, forming many erect stems 1-3 (4) m tall, cylindrical, ribbed, up to 2 cm thick, covered with pubescence. Leaves are simple, alternate, linear-elliptical to oblong, bright green, usually with a sharp apex, 4-12 (15) cm long and 0.5-3 cm wide, with sparse appressed pubescence above, more densely pubescent below. Stipules subulate, up to 3 mm long, falling short. The petiole is about 5 mm long.

Inflorescence – loose apical raceme 15-25 (30) cm long, consisting of 10-20 flowers. Bracts are small, linear. Pedicels are 3-5 mm long. Corolla bright yellow to dark yellow; the flag is erect, almost rounded to oblong, 2-2.5 cm wide, sometimes with reddish veins; the wings are slightly shorter than the boat; boat bluntly curved, about 1 cm long. The calyx is five-lobed, its blades are sharp, pubescent, up to 2 cm long. There are 10 stamens, free almost to the base, 5 of them are longer than 5 others.

Fruits – pubescent, swollen-cylindrical beans 2.5-4 (6) cm long, with a short spout, light brown when ripe, with 6-12 heart-shaped seeds 4-6 mm in diameter, colored gray-olive, dark gray, dark brown to almost black.


Temperature 20-35°C
Sowing Temperature 25-35°C
Harvesting Temperature 22-30°C
Rainfall 400-1000mm


It can be grown in all types of well-drained soils. Well-drained sandy loam or loamy soil with sufficient water-holding capacity is suitable for growing sunflower for fiber.


what is sunhemp

  • Narendra Shanai 1: Ready to harvest in 152 days. The leaves are wide, green, the flowers are yellow, the seeds are fat and black. After 45-60 days after sowing, the crop is buried in the soil for the introduction of green manure, and then 3.8-6.2 t / acre of green biomass is added to the soil. Produces an average seed yield of 4 quarts/acre.
  • PAU 1691: Ready to harvest after 136 days. The leaves are medium-sized, green in color, the flowers are yellow, the seeds are fat and black. 45-60 days after sowing, the crop is buried in the soil and adds 4-6.5 tons of green biomass per acre. Produces an average seed yield of 4.8 qt/acre.
  • Ankur: Average yield is 4.4 – 4.8 qt/acre.
  • Swastika: Yields an average yield of 4 to 4.8 qt/acre.
  • Shailesh: Produces an average yield of 4 to 4.8 quarts/acre.
  • T 6: Suitable for use as green manure.
  • K 12: gives an average yield of 3.6 to 4.8 quarts/acre.


Plow the land properly to bring the soil to shallow plowing. Make sure there is enough moisture in the soil before sowing. The correct soil moisture contributes to good seed germination.


what is sunhemp

  1. Sowing time
    For the use of green manure from April to July, the optimal time for sowing. For seed production, sow the crop in the month of June.
  2. Interval
    When growing green manure, the sowing method is used. For sowing, use a 45 cm row spacing.
  3. Planting depth Depth
    The embedment should be 3-4 cm.
  4. Sowing method Sieving method
    Is used in the case of using green manure, and the seeder – when growing crops for seeds.


Seeding rate
For green manure use a seeding rate of 20 kg/acre, and for seeding use a seeding rate of 10 kg/acre.

Seed treatment
Soak seeds overnight before sowing for better germination.


Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre)

# 100 #


Nutrient Requirement (kg/acre)

# 16 #

For seed and green manure, use phosphorus at 16 kg/acre. Since this is a legume crop, no nitrogen fertilization is applied. But for some time, initially to increase the yield, nitrogen is used at the rate of 4-6 kg/acre.


To control the weed population, take one hoe one month after sowing.


When growing green manure, two to three waterings are required depending on the weather conditions. The flowering and grain development stage is critical for irrigation when the crop is grown for cereal purposes. Avoid water stress during this period.


For cereals, harvesting is carried out 150 days after sowing. (From mid-October to early November). When growing green fertilizers, 45-60 days after sowing, the crop is buried in the soil.


  • Punjab Agricultural University of Ludhiana
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi
  • Indian Wheat and Barley Research Institute
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare

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