SEEDING

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Texas Consideration for Planting Dates

AgriLife suggest the following information when deciding on a planting date in Texas:

 

  • Possible soil temperatures similar to corn, that is a minimum of about 50 degrees

  • Avoid any freezing temperatures on seedlings

  • Many failures in nearby states attributed to planting late in early summer when soil conditions may be hot

  • Fall planting in Alabama in September of 2019 and in Florida variety trials planted in October

  • Fiber varieties on the High Plains may need an mid February plant date

  • Photoperiod sensitivity is a factor and suggestions of 2 harvest on the High Plains is yet to be proven possible

  • A lot of research and thought is needed. AgriLife research won’t be available for 2 years

  • The contrast across Texas must be taken into consideration: Lower Rio Grande Valley vs The High Plains and the hot temperatures in the Rolling Plains vs the rainy season in East Texas

  • The effects of planting dates on harvestability (if mechanical), cannabinoid content, fiber yields, and quality must all be taken into consideration

Row crop planters plant seeds more evenly spaced and at a consistent depth

Seeding Rates

The end use of your hemp crop will dictate the seeding rate. 

A target seeding rate for grain production is suggested to be 10 to 12 plants/ft, 20-25 lbs per acre.  Refer to your seed supplier for specific variety seeding rate information.  

When growing hemp for fiber only production, it is suggested the seeding rate should be double what is used for grain production (200 to 300 seeds per square metre). The reason for higher seeding rates is to ensure a higher quality fiber crop. Good quality hemp fiber comes from plants that are “pencil thin”. Higher seeding rates will ensure that there will be a high plant population with tall thin plants with longer internodes. Research is limited in Canada to determine proper seeding rates to achieve high yielding and good quality fiber.

Low plant populations will not provide competition for early weed control. Hemp can have a high mortality rate under adverse growing conditions. Research has shown that 10% to 70% seed mortality can occur under varied climatic conditions. Based on observations, reasons for high mortality are generally attributed to:

  • poor growing conditions at seeding
  • seeding too deep
  • cracking of the seed coat
  • toxicity from high rates of seed placed fertilizer 
  • residual herbicides from previous crop 

Seeding Considerations

To enhance hemp plant stands:

  • Seed into warm soil.
    • At least 50 degrees in the top 2 inches for at least 2-3 days.
    • Usually after mid-May in Western Canada.
  • Seed into a firm seedbed with good soil to seed contact.
  • Seed shallow, 1.25 cm (0.5 inches) to on 2.5 cm (1 inch) maximum.
    • Do not seed deep into moisture in a dry year. Despite being a moderately large seed, hemp will struggle to emerge from deep seeding.
  • Avoid seeding before an abundance of precipitation is anticipated.
    • Seed after a heavy rain rather than before.
  • Although most seeding equipment will work for hemp it is important to monitor seeder output to:
    • Avoid seed cracking
      • Use lower air volumes.  Cracking occurs in the manifolds when air volume is too high. 
  • Consider mortality rate. A common percentage of 30% mortality rate is often used when calculating seeding rates. If spring seeding conditions are ideal this rate can be lowered. 
  • Avoid compaction
    • Wheel tracks or other soil compaction, as with other crops, will show up under certain conditions. 
  • Avoid excessive trash that can keep soils cool and could cause hair pinning with disc drills.

Source: PCDF, CHTA National Hemp Variety Trials

1000 Kernel Weight