Hemp is difficult to grow, has a high demand for nutrients and water, and is a labor-intensive crop. The goal of irrigation management should be to provide the plant with an adequate amount of water using the minimum number of applications and without overloading the root zone. It is important to never wet below the root zone, as this wastes water and can even waste nutrients. Plants need enough water to saturate the top half of the root zone at least once a week, as nutrients in the soil need water to enter the plant.
Hemp crops require 20 to 30 inches of water each season. Those who grow up in places where it rains enough have nothing to worry about. However, the weather is always unpredictable. As such, they should plan for proper irrigation for their hemp farms.
Growers in drought-prone areas have no other option but to water their farms regularly. As the cannabis industry continues to grow, farmers can take advantage of the growth to grow high-quality hemp for the ever-expanding hemp market. Although hemp can be grown in the same field continuously, assuming that the soil is suitable for hemp production, first of all, it would be better to grow it in rotation to reduce the risk of increasing the pressure of insect pests and fungal inoculum. Purdue University's Hemp Project reports that most hemp varieties need between 25 and 30 inches of rain a year, especially in the first few weeks of life.
Therefore, the variety of hemp plants currently available may not deserve the title of drought tolerant on its own, but it seems that the hemp boom is inspiring a new wave of creativity in agriculture with a focus on water saving. Hemp growers need to learn the right moisture levels for the harvest to produce high-quality hemp that earns a fortune in the market. While many growing operations have existing irrigation systems, farmers looking to add hemp to their crop rotations often seek to integrate irrigation equipment that is ideal for hemp production. The government changed the rules again, begging farmers to grow hemp in a propaganda film called Hemp for Victory.
But is the plant really as ideal for a state facing a severe water shortage as it is intended to be? Or is the innovative thinking of hemp really inspiring behind the water needs and viability of hemp in the West? KGNU's Hannah Leigh Myers spoke to researchers and visited several hemp crops in northeastern Colorado to try to find out. An hour and a half away in Sterling, Colorado, the Lebsock hemp farm is testing irritating drip hemp on a large scale. Hemp is not as immune to drought as its supporters claim, according to a soil researcher at Colorado State University who analyzed two years of Colorado hemp production.