Hemp is an industrial form of cannabis that produces seeds and stalks that can then be used to make a long list of products. But unlike consumable cannabis which is harvested for its resinous, cannabinoid-packed flowers, the target yield for industrial hemp is seeds and straw (plant stalks/leaves). As such, these two types of cannabis are grown using completely different methods.
The Benefits of Hemp as an Industrial Crop
Industrial hemp plants grow vigorously, with long, lanky stalks and deep tap roots. Different varieties of hemp may produce a varying quantity seeds or fiber, and they may also differ in oil composition. Hemp is typically ready to harvest in four months, and per acre it produces four times as much paper as trees, which take many years to reach maturity for harvest.
The list of benefits associated with hemp production is extensive. Some examples include:
- Dense growth leaves little room for competing weeds
- Highly pest-resistant
- Deep tap roots help to protect soil
- Easier to farm organically than most other fibrous crops
How to Grow Industrial Hemp
Select the Proper Genetics
Industrial hemp is a valuable agricultural crop that can be harvested for both its seeds and its stalks. Depending on which of these parts you’re harvesting, you’ll want to take genetics into consideration. Are you hoping to use the oils, seeds, or the stalks? When buying hemp seeds, look for those that have been bred to maximize the plant part that interests you most.
Grow in the Right Climate
Industrial hemp is an agricultural crop that can thrive in many environments. Its deep tap roots can find water sequestered in the ground, but for a healthy hemp crop, it will need additional water via rainfall or watering.
The soil quality should lean on the alkaline side. A pH level above 6