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Any crop with the title "hemp" seems to be a hot topic in the agricultural industry and sunn hemp proves to be no different. This incredible plant is originally from India and has been grown since the beginning of farming. Because it is a member of the Crotalaria genus, which is notorious for seeds that are high in pyrrolizidine alkaloids, it was long thought to be toxic to livestock. However, thanks to the research of Dr. Jorge A. Mosjidis, who published "The Facts About Sunn Hemp Toxicity" in 2012, it is now more widely understood that not only is sunn hemp a safe species for livestock forage, its nutrient profile makes it a nutritional powerhouse for cattle.
Protein is a critical nutrient in the diet of all beef cattle. Young, growing cattle, in particular, need high levels of protein to support muscle growth. Grass forages may offer adequate nutrition in the early months of growing but will mature through the summer, losing many nutrients but specifically protein. This natural decline in pasture quality allows cattle to lose body condition. Understandably this presents quite the obstacle for producing all natural, grass fed beef. Enter sunn hemp, the last super source of protein that has not been genetically modified. Sunn hemp leaves are naturally 25 to 30 percent protein and will maintain that quality throughout late summer and early fall. The fixed and extremely nutritious diet improves weight gain and overall herd health without compromising the benefits of being all natural, 100 percent grass fed beef.