Practical information for farmers

FINOLA variety of hemp is grown for seed harvest. Harvest potential is about 2000 kg / ha of seeds. Potential seed harvest in organic farm is 500-1000 kg / ha (data from 2014 year cultivation statistics). The weight of thousand grains is 12-15 grams. The maximum plant height is 2 meters.

Soil selection

Hemp can be grown in well drained (ground water must be at the height of 0.75 m), fertile and friable soils with 6.0 to 7.5 pH. Hemp is sensitive to soil compaction, so it must not be grown in heavy clay soils. Hemp grows well in the sands, black turf; it is especially suitable for seeding after legumes and clover, as hemp is quite demanding on nitrogen.

Crop rotation

Hemp is most commonly cultivated for cereal crop rotations; it can be grown after legumes, and perennial legumes. After 2-3 years of growth it can be sown into the same field, and significant successive growing crop loss has not been observed (from 2014). Corn is incorrect preplant and neighbor for hemp, as they have common pests. Hemp is a good preceding crop for other plants, as it has very good weed suppression; in addition, it leaves a lot of organic material, in this way significantly improving the soil humus content.

Hemp is not exhausting the soil if hemp stalks are chopped after harvest of the seeds (the discs suit for harvesting) and plowed (90% of the hemp consumed trace elements are concentrated in stems and foliage). Hemp in Ukraine is recommended to cultivate for crop rotations, in Germany – to grow after winter wheat or sugar beet. It is also stated that, winter wheat grows best after hemp, because the amount of weeds is significantly reduced.

Soil preparation and sowing

Hemp is sown into neatly worked, weed less, mould soil, after the soil warms up to 10-150 C (about mid-of May), at a depth of 1.0-1.5 cm, in 12.5 cm in row spacing. It is recommended to sow in the soil that was plowed in autumn, because the spring plowing can cause excessive evaporation of moisture, which is very important at the start of hemp growth. Sowing rate is 30-35 kg / ha of seed. Plants germinate in 4-7 days in good moisture and heat conditions. Hemp can withstand the frost to -40 C. The hemp, grown for fiber, is sensitive to excess of moisture in it’s the early stages of growth (approximately 4 weeks after germination), as the moisture can reduce the harvest. Therefore, it is not recommended to sow in not-drained, untidy reclamation fields. Sowing shall be postponed to a later date, if heavy rains are expected during the sowing, or shortly after it; it is recommended to sow shortly after the rain.

Fertilization and plant protection

Organically grown hemp is fertilized only by certified fertilizers, used for organic production or by animal manure / slurry. It is recommended to use livestock farm slurry or manure from a reliable supplier (containing only up to 300 animals), if you are able to find the farm in the neighborhood (it is known that the most part of slurry and manure fertilizer cost contains the expenses for logistics). It is recommended to use organic NPK + 4,7-1,3-2,7 (N 4,7 – 2,9 P2O5 – K2O 3.2) in the amount of 600 to 1500 kg / ha (or other certified fertilizer having more nitrogen content), if there is no possibility to fertilize the soil by slurry / manure; the total rate of fertilizer must be spread before the last tillage. Hemp is the plant that requires a lot of nutrients, but leaves a lot of them after its plowing (about 80-90% of the soil nutrients returns back with plant residues under the condition that the hemp stems are plowed back into the soil). Since 2015 JSC Agropro started to introduce further fertilization by liquid fertilizer (only certified organic products), as amino acids and the like. The preliminary results are promising.

Strictly no pesticides and herbicides are used in organic production. The use of glyphosates is also strictly prohibited; even if glyphosate will be used two – three weeks before sowing hemp, it will not allow growing the hemp, and all harvest will be destroyed!

Hemp overrun both annual and perennial weeds (including twitch grass, thistle), but before planting it is important to prepare the soil well. Hemp will overtake the weeds in clean (shaved, loosen) soil, will dominate, and outshone them later. The plants are fairly resistant to diseases and pests. It is not recommended to grow hemp after the other oilseeds, as they may have sclerosing or gray rot.

Harvest

Harvesting is provided by conventional harvesters, 100-115 days after sowing.

Threshing should be carried out when the weather is quite dry. It begins when 60-70% of seeds are fully mature. It does not need to wait until full maturity of the seeds, as in the production of buckwheat. Drying equipment must be installed not far, and ready to take the seeds, especially in humid climate.

Combine harvesters shall be adjusted for rape threshing settings. Threshing is going on 2-4 km / h with a minimum rotation speed.
The remaining stalks must be chopped and plowed.

Drying, cleaning and storage

Ideally, drying should be carried out immediately, but not later than 6 hours after the harvest. Hemp seeds are dried to 8% of humidity, at low temperature (30-350 C) and with high airflow. One must be sure that the moisturemeter is pre-calibrated for hemp verification (adjusted hygrometers for hemps are freely available on the market since 2014)! It is very important to prevent seed steaming, mold, and preserve the quality of seeds.

FINOLA variety of hemp seeds can be effectively cleaned with the sieves of 1.60-3. 25 mm (elongated) and 2.50 to 5.00 mm (round).
Do not store the freshly threshed seed without sufficient drying for a longer than 6-8 hours’ time. This can damage the crop. Keep the dried grain in bins or “Tote” bags away from birds. If properly dried and stored, hemp seeds can be stored for 2-3 years.

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