Richters ProGrowers Info

Richters ProGrowers Info

  Comfrey (Symphytum officinale, S. x uplandicum)
Market Products:   (leaf, root);   (root, herb);     Market size: 1,700 hectares (world), 240 ha (North America)   Prospects: prices up, volume up
Culture Seed density: 90-100 seeds/gram   Exposure: full or part sun   Soil: moist, wet or dry   Crop duration: 2-5 years
    Sowing rate: 600-900g/ha (indirect).   Planting: although seed can be sown direct, the high cost of seed dictates indirect sowing in plugs or seedbed and transplanting to field. Root cuttings (12,000/ha) of named cultivars (e.g. Bocking No. 14) recommended over seed.   Field spacing: 90cm between rows x 90cm within rows.   Yield: dry leaf 12t/ha (years 2-5), dry root 1,800kg/ha (year 3, 4 or 5).   Pests: few problems   Diseases: comfrey rust.   Buyers want: low pyrrolizidine alkaloid content, particularly echimidine; leaf should be cut early to avoid alkaloid buildup.  
  Sowing rate: 50-70g/1000plants.   Planting: sow S. officinale in plugs or seedflats 12-14 weeks before sale. S. x uplandicum and ornamental varieties are propagated by division or root cutting.   Seeds to saleable plants: 12 weeks.   Pests: whitefly, aphid   Diseases: comfrey rust.  
– Dried Production     – Fresh Production     – Oil Production     – Potted Plant Production    

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