Growing industrial hemp either commercially or on a large scale is an exciting opportunity and for the farmer an educated decision is the best plan when considering hemp. Industrial hemp has many benefits and has a great market potential. Growing hemp on a large scale is something we at hemp.com want to do. Below we have pages about the various important parts of growing hemp commercially. You can jump around or follow them through the entire process. Although growing industrial hemp is not legal in the USA now, it is legal in many countries including Canada. There is a quick list of countries that grow hemp here .
- industrial hemp basics
- commercial hemp varieties
- soil conditions
- field preparation and planting
- climate and conditions
- weed control
- Diseases and Pests
- Harvesting Fiber Hemp
- Retting and Turning
- Baling and Storing
- Grain Harvesting Followed by Fiber Harvesting
- Combining Grain Hemp
Industrial hemp basics
Industrial hemp is made up of varieties of cannabis sativa that contain less than 0.3% THC as described earlier. It is an annual broadleaf plant with a taproot and is capable of very rapid growth under ideal growing conditions. The female flowers and seed set are indeterminate, meaning that the seeds continue to develop and mature over an extended period of time. This means there are both ripe and immature seeds on the same plants at time of grain harvest.
When grown as a fiber crop, hemp may grow to a height of 2-4 m without branching. In dense plantings, the bottom leaves atrophy due to the exclusion of sunlight. Male plants die back after shedding pollen.
The stem has an outer bark that contains the long, tough bast fibers. They are similar in length to soft wood fibers and are very low in lignin content. These give the quality and strength for which hemp is renowned. The core contains the hurds, or short fibers, similar to hard wood fibers, that are useful in other applications like particleboard or horse bedding.
For grain production, the plants may branch and reach heights of only 2-3 m. Tall plants do not necessarily produce more grain than short ones. Shorter plants are preferred for combining.
In well-structured and well-drained soils, the taproot may penetrate 15-30 cm deep. In compacted soils, the taproot remains short and the plant produces more lateral fibrous roots.