Abstract Detail



Crops and Wild Relatives

Caton, Tara [1], Smith, Andrew, Dr.  [2], Carr, Rick [2], Omondi, Emmanuel, Dr.  [2], Lesher, Emily [2].

Evaluating Organic Nutrient Management Practices to Improve Industrial Hemp Yield and Quality  .

In 2017, Rodale Institute was one of 16 organizations that received a permit for inaugural planting of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) in Pennsylvania in more than 80 years, as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) Industrial Hemp Pilot Project. Organic farmers are interested in growing hemp but require research-based information that will help them make informed decisions about integrating hemp into their rotations and what varieties grow best in this region.  A four-year research project was initiated to evaluate industrial hemp varieties that are most suited to soil and climatic conditions in Pennsylvania. In year two of the variety trial, a decline in germination, establishment, and overall yield was observed, which was attributed to a loss of soil fertility. Recent grant funding from PDA will be used to establish a new nutrient management trial to assess different organic fertilizer options and row spacings for growing dual purpose seed and fiber varieties of hemp as well as continue a previous multiyear study evaluating the benefits of incorporating hemp into an organic field crop rotation. By measuring seed, oil, and plant tissue quality, we can determine the fertility regimen necessary to produce high quality hempseed oil, and plant extracts to fill the organic hemp market niche. Two different row spacings, and three fertilizer treatments; compost, bloodmeal, and compost+bloodmeal will be evaluated. Plant growth, plant biomass, seed yield, and bioactive concentrations in seed and plant tissue will be measured. A previously established hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) cover crop will be incorporated into the soil as a green manure and is expected to provide 100-150 pounds of nitrogen to supplement initial hemp nutrient requirement. Nutrient asynchrony is common in organic systems that rely on soil biology to mineralize sources of fertility that are tied up in cover crop residue and organic matter, hence the need for additional sources of fertility to maximize hemp yield potential. Determining optimal plant spacing is also necessary to maximize yields.  Yields may be considered total seed or fiber content or total concentration of bioactive (marketable) compounds per unit of land.  Therefore, this study will not only measure soil and leaf tissue mineral levels but will measure the concentration of bioactive compounds in plant tissue and seed oil.  


Related Links:
https://rodaleinstitute.org/science/industrial-hemp-trial/


1 - Rodale Institute, Research, 611 Siegfriedale road, Kutztown, PA, 19530, USA
2 - Rodale Institute

Keywords:
Cannabis
Industrial Hemp
nutrient management
Organic Agriculture
Regenerative Agriculture
Soil Nitrogen.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PCW006
Abstract ID:315
Candidate for Awards:None


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