No Pun Intended.
Many people think that hemp is easy to grow, that it’s a “plant it and forget it” crop with great profits reaped at the end of the season. This is only partially true, and requires context in order to understand.
Yes, hemp is highly resilient. It will grow into whatever form (height, width) the surrounding environment allows for. Planting and Row Spacing have a huge impact on this. Here are the facts:
If Hemp is planted on wide spacing and has room to spread out, it will grow as a bush and fill much of the area around it.
If Hemp is planted on narrow spacing, it will grow more vertically. Hemp crops can reach 15’ tall when planted on 3” centers using a grain drill.
This environmental responsiveness is a nice genetic feature for the farmer because it allows for a wide array of planting techniques. However, some caution and through must be put into your planting design. Big, bushy plants grown on 60” centers are a terribly inefficient use of the land, do not yield as much biomass as 24” or 12” centers, and leave vast areas of valuable farmland open for actual weeds, driving costs up and yields down.
During the 2019 season, Formation Ag encountered many farmers who had low germination rates, low field densities, or both. Not only does this reveal the need for actual seed certification and testing, but also the possibility that germination isn’t as easy as “weeds”.