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Virginia CropMAP


List of Industrials and Fiber Crops that are either currently grown, are recommended alternate crops, are experimental crops, or are not recommended for Virginia.

Listing was compiled and written by:
Dr. Harbans Bhardwaj, Agricultural Research Station, Box 9061, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA 23806. Phone: 804-524-6723; Fax: 804-524-5950; Email:

Cotton Can be grown in the entire state but should be produced only if a cotton gin is within reach. Small market also exists for specialty cotton such as cotton with colored fibers.
Rapeseed Source of high erucic acid-rich oil. US industry uses, on an annual basis, approximately 40 million pounds of high erucic acid oil, mostly from imports. Rapeseed can be grown statewide but should not be planted close to canola which produces edible oil. Ensure availability of market before production.
Kenaf Can be grown in the entire state to provide source of newsprint but the markets as newsprint are not available. It is a good crop for use as a forage or for adding organic matter to the soil upon incorporation.
Meadowfoam Good source of long-chain fatty acids. Can be grown statewide. There are problems related to marketing.
Sunn Hemp Not related to industrial hemp which is a modified version of marijuana. It is adapted for all areas of the state. Can be a good source of fiber for newsprint or cordage. A cultivar named, "Tropic Sun" is available from NRCS. Being a legume, Sunn Hemp can be used a green manure crop also.
Vernonia Good source of naturally epoxidized oil. Adapted statewide but shattering is a problem. Can't be mechanically harvested.
Not Recommended
Castor Source of hydroxy-fatty acid oil for many industrial and non-industrial application. Seeds are poisonous. Leaves and other plant parts may be poisonous/allergenic.
Flax - Fiber Adapted statewide. No market.
Hemp, Industrial Modified version of marijuana. Good source of fiber. Illegal in United States.