Hemp Growth: Things to Consider

Hemp plants, despite the current controversy, it one of the oldest crops in the world. Commercial Hemp, in contrast to Hemp containing THC, plays a significant role in the production of hemp fibers, hemp seed (used for help oil), and flowers and leaves that produce essential oils. New methods are also making it possible to use hemp juice for nutrition. All parts of the plant are suitable for production, keeping waste to a minimum.

There are about 52 strains of Hemp available that contain a THC content of less than 0.2 percent. Only these types are suitable to produce CBD products in the United States. 

Hemp Use 

Hemp is used to generating a wide variety of products. 

Hemp fibers are used to create rope, paper, or insulating materials – which can only be done by industrial processing. 

Hemp seeds may often be overlooked for anything other than growth, but they hold key nutritional values. The seed contains proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; in addition, it holds high fiber contents and valuable vitamins and minerals. Seeds are excellent as feed for fish, birds, and other mammals due to their nutritional offerings. Hemp oil, pressed from the seeds, is extremely rich in unsaturated fatty acids. It has proven to contribute to a healthy diet. Hemp oil is also popularly used in the cosmetics industry and for lamp oils. 

By distilling leaves and flowers, you are able to extract the essential oils. This can be used for a variety of things – including an additive to cooking or a preferred beverage. 

If you plan to grow Hemp, here are several things to consider:

Suitable Soil

Hemp plants thrive in fertile soil-like humus – deep soils with high nutrient content. Hemp cannot be grown just anywhere. There are several things that should be avoided when attempting to grow Hemp; such as waterlogging, acid, or compact soils. It is also useful to avoid steep slopes and high altitudes. A well-aerated loam soil, a soil with equal parts of clay, silt, and sand, promotes optimal growth.  

Ideal Planting Seasons

Although Hemp seedlings have the potential to germinate at temperatures that are beyond reasonable, ideal soil temperatures should be around 46°–50°F. Normally, Hemp is planted right before the planting season of corn. Soil moisture and heavy rainfall are key to obtaining optimal growth at the start of production.

The Seedbed

Preparing the seedbed requires a significant amount of effort. Experts suggest plowing during the Fall and carefully preparing the seedbed in the Spring. The seedbed should be tight, fine, and leveled. The ideal depth should be around 0.75 to 1.25 inches.  Most industrial Hemp is planted with the use of a standard grain drill. Fiber and oil hemp are generally planted in 6 to 7-inch rows.  

Fiber

Fiber crops should be planted at a rate of 40 to 80 pounds per acre. It could be higher but only is seeds are large or germination is low. This enables the production of higher quality bast fibers. Bast fibers increase as plant density increases. The density of the fiber should be about 30 to 35 plants per square foot. 

Fertility

Hemp requires neither weed killers nor pesticides during its growth phase. However, an adequate supply of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is necessary. The plant grows rapidly – up to 4 meters high. Harvest season often lasts from July to September. 

Hemp Rotations

Unlike many other plants, hemp can grow successfully in a continuous rotation for several years on the same land. The risk of pests may inevitably increase – especially rootworms, rots, and borers. In order to decrease the likelihood of pests, it is important that Hemp plants are not grown on the same land that previously held canola, sunflowers, or soybeans.

Positive Effects on the Ground

Hemp has a remarkable impact on the soil quality in the crop rotation. Deep growing roots loosen the soil, positively affect the soil gout, and suppress weeds. The straw of the withered plants is an ideal fertilizer. Hemp can also be used to expand current rotations of the beat, wheat, or alfalfa.

The Importance of Hemp Cultivation

When it comes to Hemp plants, it is very rare that any part is thrown away. From oils to cosmetics, every part of the plants serves a specific purpose. With the increasing popularity of Hemp cultivation in the U.S., we are constantly coming up with new ways to utilize its properties. 

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