Growing hemp is quickly proving to be a lucrative option for farmers, but what happens when that’s not all you want to grow. Can a hemp crop fit into a regular rotation? For farmers with limited space, looking to to manage a small-scale cannabis crop, the answer is most assuredly yes. It could also work for large-scale farmers, if they wanted to bother rotating away from hemp.
General rules for crop rotation
Rotating crops means you don’t plant the same species of plant, in the same location, for at least three years. This strategy helps certain plants thrive because of how the plant before them acted on the soil. It also keeps the ground from getting exhausted and lessening the yield.
Crop rotation can also help keep pests away. Since certain plants are susceptible to specific pests, and even diseases, it’s good to give your land a year or two off from growing that plant. This strategy means those damaging elements can no longer thrive. When you rotate back to that crop, you’re starting fresh, with a lesser risk for an infestation.
How hemp in your crop rotation works
There’s no set rules for what plants belong in a crop rotation. It is best, though, to think about varying the types of crops you grow to get the best output from your soil. Each plant should provide benefits for the next year’s crop. Hemp has many good qualities as a plant that make it a perfect addition to the rotation.
Hemp has a deep root system. Taproots can reach a depth greater than six feet. As they’re growing, the deep root system helps aerate the soil and brings nutrients up to the surface. This then prepares the soil for the next crop in the rotation, which can be a plant with more superficial roots like lettuce and escarole.
Another aspect of hemp that makes it a great helper plant is its ability to filter contaminants out of the soil. Hemp plants grow fast, which means they absorb more contaminants and toxins in a shorter time when compared with other crops. The long taproot gets down further to decontaminate soil at a deeper level.
Absorbing all these contaminants is not a problem for the hemp plant. Hemp isn’t affected by heavy metals or toxins in the soil. The crop is even known to thrive in contaminated soil. Its resilience helps prepare the soil for the next crop, which may be more sensitive.
While there are certain pests that like a good hemp crop, the plant is naturally more resistant. It works better than most crops at repelling unwanted visitors. This means there’s rarely a need for pesticide and chemical treatments while the crop grows. This, in turn, keeps the soil cleaner and safer for the subsequent crops.
Hemp crop rotation is an effective strategy
With so many benefits, putting a hemp crop into your rotation can prove highly useful for your farm. However, growing hemp differs from working with other crops. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of hemp farming first.
If you’re considering growing hemp, it’s best to find a partner who can nurture and support you through the whole process. At Arbor Vida8, our seed-to-sale list of services does just that. Our knowledgeable staff can help you with hemp strain selection, provide cultivation tips, and make sure harvesting gets done right. From there, our high-end facility and top-of-the-line equipment ensures proper drying, processing, and extraction. We’re even able to connect you with trusted manufactures when it’s time to sell your product.
Whether you’re only growing a hemp crop as part of a larger rotation, or have decided to stick with it as your central crop, Arbor Vita8 is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more.