Growing Hemp: Best Practices for Success – Episode 2: Field Prep

January 15, 2020

In “Episode 2” of our video series with Aligned Distributing LLC, we discuss essential field preparation methods to set yourself up for success for the upcoming hemp production season. This episode explains: determining soil type, testing soil quality, planting a cover crop, testing water quality, bed preparation, terracing, row spacing, irrigation planning, and weed control. Watch the full video for a deep dive on field prep for growing hemp and view key points from the video below.

How to optimize results with field prep:

1. Determine your soil type in order to maximize your crop’s yield potential and overall success.

2. Ensure that the soil’s pH, fertility, and nutrients are well balanced by testing the soil at least twice a year, in the fall after harvesting your crop and again in the spring before planting.

3. To learn which cover crops perform best in your region, contact your local university extension and consider planting a cover crop to fix nitrogen or turn into the soil as a green manure.

4. When conducting water tests, measure pH, salinity, heavy metals, and alkalinity to properly identify if the water quality is ideal for growing hemp.

5. In preparing your soil bed, determine its density and identify whether you’ll need to break up the hard pan by plowing or tilling.

6. When planting on a hillside, consider terracing to reduce the risk of soil flowing downhill.

7. Depending on the climate, hemp variety selection, and airflow requirements, you’ll need to determine the correct row spacing for your crop.

8. Developing an irrigation plan is an essential part of field prep – decide whether you’ll use a drip irrigation, center pivot irrigation, dropdown irrigation, or subsurface irrigation system.

9. When developing a crop plan, prepare for weed management by determining whether or not to utilize options such as plastic film or hand weeding.

Watch the full video for more information regarding field prep and stay tuned for “Episode 3: Genetics”!

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