Once your hemp plants are in the ground and begin to take root, it’s mostly a waiting game until harvest approaches. For crops that were planted with regular seed, identifying and removing male plants is absolutely key for a high-quality harvest. Growers who fail to do so will see an over 40% reduction in cannabinoids (CBD), and the pollinated plants will convert their energy from growing larger and more potent towards producing seeds. Pollinated crops will result in an over 25% loss in biomass, which is all the more reason to plant using feminized genetics.
As stated in earlier posts throughout this series, farmers looking to stay proactive during this time should investigate for any wildlife that may be harming their crop. Zero insecticides, fungicides or pesticides can be used since the chemicals will be converted into the plant’s oil profile and make the flower completely worthless. Insects can be an issue in certain areas, although the majority of Wisconsin growers have seen little threat from these pests so far.
If a drought occurs and there’s no irrigation in place, you should work out some sort of system to keep your plants watered. Stressed plants are proven to yield significantly less than those that aren’t stressed, so the overall goal during the growing phase is to provide as least a stressful environment as realistically possible. Aside from keeping your crop watered, I’d highly suggest investing in weeding equipment such as weed whackers, machetes, clippers, etc. These will be vital to keeping assuring the soil’s nutrients are going strictly to your plants. One common point of feedback from Wisconsin farmers who grew hemp in these past couple years is that it was much more labor than they had anticipated, so be fully prepared to work and/or have extra hands at your disposal.