SoilsIndustrial hemp can be grown on a wide variety of soil types. Hemp prefers a sufficiently deep, well-aerated soil with a pH pf 6 or greater, along with good moisture and nutrient holding capacity. Poorly drained soils, however, are not recommended as excess water after heavy rains can result in damage to the hemp crop. Hemp is extremely sensitive to flooding and soil compaction
Soil PreparationA fine, firm seedbed is required for fast, uniform germination of hemp seed. Conventional seedbed preparation and drilling are probably ideal. The seedlings will not emerge uniformly if the seed is placed to a depth greater than 2 inches. "No-till systems" can also be used with good results, but may be more vulnerable to erratic emergence depending on the growing season.
Notice the canopy effect created by the dense planting. When properly planted and cultivated, weed control is a non issue.
This stand is ready to harvest. Note the uniformly dense population.
- monoecious varieties - when male and female flowers develop on the same plant;
- dioecious varieties - with distinct male and female plants;
- female predominant varieties, obtained by pollinating dioecious females with monoecious pollen.
- fiber cultivars - with long stalks and little branching; (shown to the left)
- seed cultivars - with shorter stalks, larger seed heads and may have numerous branches (seed contains 30 - 35% oil). (shown to the right)
Kennex Ltd. of Canada, is developing a harvesting system that will be compatible with the new processing technology. For fiber production, the crop will be cut, dew retted in the field, baled and stored or processed.
12. RettingThe bast fibers are obtained by retting - a microbial decay of pectin, the substance that glues the fiber to the woody core of the hemp stem together. Retting is carried out in the field and depending on the weather, takes 12 to 18 days to complete. During retting, the stems need to be turned one or two times in order to allow for even retting, since the stems close to the ground will remain green while the top ones are retted and turn brown. Retting is complete when the fibers turn a golden color and separate easily from the mass to finer fibers.
The information provided in this fact sheet is based on research sponsored by Kenex Ltd., RR#1, Pain Court, Ontario, Canada, N0P 1Z0. The information reflects research data gathered from the test plots at Ridgetown College and the Kenex pre-commercial field trials at Pain Court. Information is based on research from 1995 thru 1997 at these two facilities.