The Planning Phase: Where To Plant Hemp


Where To Plant Hemp

Geographic and Climate Factors impacting where to grow hemp

Once a working knowledge of the hemp plant has been attained, it is time to decide on a production site/location to grow your hemp. Using agronomic factors to help weigh decisions, farmers can perform an initial viability test to determine whether conditions favor a successful production run.

The ideal site will produce test results within the statistical average ranges for all agronomic factors, but it is not absolutely necessary for the production of a thriving crop. The hemp plant is rather hardy and can handle fairly large deviations in one or more categories. However, regions of extreme cold or shorter than average daylight or precipitation may necessitate greenhouse production, a topic we discuss in our Cultivation Guide.

Many variables and factors can affect the success of a potential hemp harvest. Geographic and Climatic are two of the biggest factors.

Geographic Factors

Plant Hardiness Zone
Defined by the American Geological Survey as a level of coldness a given plant species can tolerate, these rankings run from 1 through 13 and are divided up into segments of 10 degrees each.  The lower a region's plant hardiness zone number, the more difficult it will be to successfully grow hemp in that region.

Thermal Profile
Each state has its own thermal profile and, like plant hardiness zones, these can vary across different geographical regions of a given state.

The rule of thumb is that longer summers with average rainfall tend to favor healthy crop growth more so than states with shorter warm seasons and/or below average amounts of precipitation.

Ground Surface Elevation
Ground surface elevation can also significantly impact the growth cycle of the hemp plant by modulating other factors relevant to its production.

Higher ground is colder ground, and fields located in the foothills of mountains may also experience wetter than average soil conditions than other hilly locations around the start of spring as melted water from higher elevations is absorbed into the thawing Earth on its path to flatter terrain.

These same conditions may prove beneficial in some locations where nutrients locked up in the soil at higher elevations can be carried to lower ones and infused into soil at lower altitudes through the means of excess moisture.

This is but one example of how geography can modify climate creating both a boon and a challenge to the prospective hemp farmer.


Climatic Factors

Length of Growing Season
On average, it takes the hemp plant four to six weeks to come into its full maturity.

Average Sunlight During Growing Season
Hemp grows best when it receives plenty of sun. Ten to twelve hours is considered ideal though not every production site will enjoy optimal daylight conditions during the growing season. Hemp plants can do quite well with as few as eight hours of sunlight per day so long as exposure is consistent on a daily basis.

Farmers in regions experiencing fewer than average daylight hours (particularly those in northern latitudes) will require the use of a greenhouse and may need to invest in hemp transplanting equipment to transfer a seedlings from greenhouse to field when conditions become favorable for outdoor growth.

  

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