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June Update from Oakley Farm

June 23, 2023

Hemp in June is vigorous! It is growing many inches every day. See Tim Fritz on June 7 and June 24, photos below. A short variety is in the foreground, with a much taller variety in back.

Photo 1: June 7, 26 days after planting Photo 2: June 24, some two weeks (plus) later

With our Mid-May planting date, appropriate fertility, adequate rainfall, and warm temps, we expect all varieties to reach their genetic potential. Each is showing their varietal differences. Some are obvious. Our compact, speedy Canadian grain varieties are already shedding pollen, while the Polish varieties are still in “baby bud” – but not for long! New to the trials is Colorado breeding, a latitude on par with the Mid-Atlantic region. Each variety has its own strengths. One grain variety will mature first at a short height. It will be easy to harvest mechanically and provide ample opportunity to plant another agronomic crop in late summer. The variety most suitable for fiber production is tall, slender, and supple. Dual purpose varieties are in between, both in height and plant development. I hope to harvest the crops as they mature, not all at the same time like in some research trials. Want to lend a hand? Give me a call!

Important agronomic research involves how crop history impacts hemp. King’s AgriSeeds has coined the term Forecrop, defined as cover crop mixtures that are tailored to precede a specific economic crop. The evaluations are not yet complete. Within the same variety, we have seen hemp respond differently to each of the Forecrops planted last October.

Winter rye and wheat were planted as nurse crops on the same day as the hemp. Nurse crops assist with weed control and preventing erosion without competing significantly for water and nutrients. The difference between these two nurse crops is like night and day!

Come and see how varieties, simple crop rotations and nurse crops can positively or negatively influence your 2023 crop. Plan to attend our Hemp Field Day on August 16 and 17. See the events page for more information, so you get the most from this dynamic crop!

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