Annual artemisia as a high-value crop and for weed control

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2012: $7,168.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Dwight Sipler
small farm

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: cover crops
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, feasibility study
  • Pest Management: allelopathy
  • Production Systems: general crop production

    Proposal summary:

    Artemisia annua is a medicinal herb used extensively in the treatment of malaria, and there are indications that it may have wider benefits for other health concerns. The active ingredient, artemisinin, is derived from the leaves of A. annua and is reported to be allelopathic as well as providing a medicinal benefit. Artemisinin is already in short supply, and if additional medicinal uses are developed there will be increased demand. This project will provide information on the possibility of A. annua as a new high value crop that can double as a cover crop with some weed control efficacy. The project will evaluate the productivity of Artemisia annua in order to provide yield estimates. It will also evaluate the effectiveness of the crop in weed suppression.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    There are 3 main objectives in this project:

    1. to measure the biomass and artemisinin content of a clonal cultivar of A. annua after 1 growing season. (4 plots)

    2. to measure the biomass and artemisinin content of a clonal cultivar of A. annua after 1 growing season, but where a mid-season harvest of the leafy biomass is also taken. (4 plots)

    3. to compare the number and types of weeds that appear in A. annua plots with plots that are either left fallow, or amended with dried A. annua leaves. (4 fallow + 4 amended = 8 plots)

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.