Prepping Your Land

Hemp’s fertilizer requirements can vary depending on your target density of plants. In general, industrial hemp has a high nutrient requirement, much like corn or wheat. Hemp prefers somewhat drier soil to start, as too much moisture around planting can lead to dampening off and poor establishment rates. Fall plowing is recommended, as well as seedbed preparation in the spring. Loamy, well-draining soil will work best for hemp.

Hemp fields should be slightly alkaline, with a soil pH of anywhere between 7.0-7.5. Fields need to be well treated in order to meet the nutrient requirements of hemp. In general, 80lb-150lb of nitrogen, 30lb-70lb of phosphate, 20lb-90lb of potash, 10lb-30lb of sulfur, and organic matter above 3.5% will be enough to feed a hemp field. For farmers looking to harvest seeds for processing, more nitrogen will help in seed development. For hemp fiber fields, more potash will help create high-quality fiber.

Hemp can be grown continuously with proper fertilization but can also be grown in rotation with nitrogen fixers like beans and alfalfa. Crops to avoid are canola, edible beans, soybeans, and sunflowers because they attract and carry many pests and diseases common to industrial hemp.