Hemp Crop Monitoring & Weed Control
True that hemp is a resilient crop, that doesn't mean you can cultivate the crop without monitoring its growth. Typically, crop monitoring revolves around weed control, which we will address in detail below. However, beyond weeds there are other important measures to take and things to keep in ind when monitoring your hemp crop.
This varies based on the prevalent weather and climate and your nutrient methods throughout the plant’s lifecycle. Nonetheless, cultivars of hemp can’t really get water pushed onto them as done with corn. Soil moisture has to be measured and drip irrigation appears to be the most preferred method, though every farmer’s story is unique here.
Weed Clearing and Sanitation
Should you watch videos from hemp farmers or visit one yourself, you’ll likely see rows are kept spotless via manual labor. No one wants to include any foreign plant matter in their harvest samples. Even if there were, most farmers are eyeing organic-style certifications or focusing on organic non-chemical inputs.
Weed control management is all about understanding the plant population. With hemp grain crops, the grain yield tends to be similar to other plant populations. it tends to be somewhere around 25 plants per square foot based on the average level of branching.
With lower populations, the plant may not do as well with regards to shade production. This can lead to an increase in weeds. The lower population may also make the harvesting phase a lot harder to manage because of the supplementary plant materials.
With the higher plant population, the idea is to have additional cover for weed control as it allows the grain seed to do better without needing as much material.
Plant Height & Branching
The best seeding rate is to remain at 100 seed per square meter (i.e. 20-25 pounds per acre). This is more than enough for the plant population to do well in an area as it looks to compete against weeds.
High Plant Fertility Rates
Fertility is a must when it comes to how healthy and viable a crop is for the long-term while managing to compete against weeds.
When it comes to managing contaminants, it's important to emphasize sanitation for a hemp crop to flourish. This includes investing in the right equipment (bins, augers, trucks) and making sure everything is well-maintained throughout the process.
Hemp is known to repel herbicides residues. If herbicides have been used on a field that will grow hemp, it's important to be aware of this right away. When herbicides are present, they can do a lot of damage to hemp (especially if still present in the soil).