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Industrial Hemp Production Tips & Tricks

The following information is a list of suggestions only. Agronomic decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis with your farm’s agronomist.


  • Seed into ground free of chemical residue such as Odyssey, Avadex, Pursuit. Canola stubble works well.
  • Seeding date target: May 15th-June 5th. The soil temperature should be 8-10 degrees Celsius or above
  • Grain production seeding rate: 22-25 lbs/acre
  • Fibre production seeding rate: 35-45 lbs/acre
  • Seeding depth: 1/2" - 1"
  • Use minimum air flow on your air seeder to avoid seed cracking in manifolds
  • Calibration of all seeding equipment is essential
  • Fertilizing Rates:
    • 70 to 90 lb. actual Nitrogen
    • 35 to 40 lb. actual Phosphate
    • Potash and Sulfur as required as per soil testing

Grain Harvest

  • Moisture target to begin harvesting: 15% – 25%
  • Begin to dry grain within 4 hours of harvest or sooner. Dry to 9% for storage.
  • Watch for heating, or use a full floor aeration bin with a large fan. The depth of the grain in bin should be about 4-5 ft.
  • Handle hemp grain with the auger full and at a slow speed (similar to handling peas, beans, etc.) or use a conveyor
  • Straight cut the crop as high as is required to harvest seed from stalk, without taking in more fibre than necessary
  • Combine settings depend on field conditions and the type of combine. Start with canola settings and adjust from there.
  • Combine Modification:
    • Narrow the feeder house by placing plates on each side of feeder
    • Observe all places any wrapping could occur and address the problem promptly. Temporary tin shields may be useful. PVC shields on the driveshaft may also be useful.
    • Other modifications may be required depending on the type of combine being used. Use caution. Check often for wrapping.

(For more info on harvesting and storing your hemp grain for your PIHG production contract please check out our Hemp Harvest Tips page)

Fibre Harvest

  • Machines used for cutting: self-propelled swather or haybine
  • 16-18 ft swath maximum (swath must fit baler)
  • Cutting height: as close to the ground as possible
  • Cutting pattern (behind combine): Opposite to combine travel so as to pick up fibre in tracks a give the knife a chance to clear
  • Fibre only crops: Cut after pollination (flowering) – 50% seed set; should be cut before viable seeds are present

Baling and Bale Storage:

  • Soft-core and hard core balers have both proven to work
  • Address any problems of wrapping by covering the area with tin, canvas, or whatever works in the particular situation
  • For highest price potential bales must be at 15% moisture or lower
  • Bales must be kept dry and preferably stored under cover
  • Do NOT rake, as stones may be picked up and embedded in the swath
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