Hemp is a versatile and quickly expanding agricultural crop throughout the US with countless possibilities. Hemp can grow in a multitude of different environments. Farmers must pay special attention to a crucial part of planning a hemp-growing project: irrigation. If you are growing hemp for CBG or CBD, you need to properly irrigate plants to maximize their growth so that hemp flowers produce the maximum amount of CBG or CBD-rich resin. The right and effective irrigation system is key to growing a successful hemp crop. Today, this robust crop is cultivated for various applications, providing farmers with new business opportunities and high ROIs.
If you are unsure how to irrigate your hemp field, don't worry. This article will review the factors farmers should consider when building a hemp irrigation system. We will introduce you to the best irrigation system for producing high-yield, productive crops. Learn how to irrigate your hemp fields and let your crops thrive correctly.
Factors to Consider When Planning Hemp Irrigation Project
Irrigating a hemp field depends on the soil and climate type. Here are a few crucial things to consider when you start building your hemp irrigation plan.
Know Your Soil Type
Different types of soil require different amounts of water. Light and sandy soil with greater drainage will need more water, while clay soil retains the most water due to its smaller particle sizes. In addition, loam and silt soils have medium-sized particles and have low water retention. Sandy loam is the popular soil type for water flow, root structure development, and decreased risk of soil-borne diseases compared to heavier soils.
Know Your Water Source
Without a water source, you can't irrigate your hemp crops. So, you should establish an efficient water source. This could include using an adjacent water body or using a municipal water system.
Analyze How Much Water Your Project Needs
It's crucial to determine how much water you will need. You can calculate it easily: Number of plants x GPM or GPH = total volume of water required. The amount of water needed depends on the growth stage of hemp plants, the number of plants, and the climate in your area. Before planting your hemp seeds, ensure you have access to adequate water.
Know Your Water Quality
You must test your water quality, looking for minerals, organic matter, chemicals, and general water quality. If you are using recycled water or gray water, you should use a good filtration system. Even if the water comes from a clean source like a city water supply or well, it still needs to be filtered.
Check the Optimal Pressure of Your Water Source
You should measure the water pressure (PSI) of the water source to find what irrigation methods and irrigation components best suit your application. The right pressure allows farmers to deliver the right amount of water to the hemp field. Excessive high-water pressure can damage your crops and equipment. Moreover, insufficient water pressure prevents water from moving through your irrigation system.
Furthermore, you should measure the dimensions of your field and note any slopes or elevation changes. When determining which irrigation method is best for your crops, you must consider row lengths, row spacing, the field's topography, and plant spacing to design the best system.
Choosing the Right Irrigation System
It is important to choose the right irrigation system that is ideal for hemp production. Let's find out the best and most recommended irrigation method for hemp crops.
Overhead irrigation or sprinkler systems are the most common irrigation methods in the United States for rotation crops like wheat, corn, milo, and soy. This is a rainfall-like system that is ideal for incorporation of surface-applied fertilizers. While the overhead sprinkler system benefits farmers who grow several crops year-round, it is not an ideal irrigation system for hemp production.
Frequent leaf wetting of hemp plants can cause mildew and mold, which spread quickly within a field and can be a harmful crop killer. Moreover, feminized hemp needs a spacing of three feet between plants, which means water will move through the soil without reaching the plants, which will lead to water wastage and high energy costs. So, it isn't considered the best system to irrigate hemp fields.
Drip Irrigation System
Drip irrigation is the favorite and most recommended irrigation method for growing hemp. Like most row crops, hemp performs best with a drip system. A drip irrigation system delivers a precise amount of water directly to plants' roots without saturating the soil. Hemp crops require high water, nutrients, and a certain level of moisture in the soil. Hemp plants need more water during vegetative growth, less in early flowering stages, and more during late flowering.
No other irrigation system can deliver the ideal amount of water and nutrients to plants like the drip irrigation system can, which makes it best suited for hemp irrigation.
Since the drip system applies water to the plants' base, it significantly reduces fertilizer waste, weed production, and water waste. It also lowers the risk of diseases and improves overall crop quality.
Why Consider Drip Irrigation System for Hemp
- Better seed germination
- Better foliage development
- Better crop growth and high-quality crop yield
- Allows you to manage water flow effectively
- Reduces weed growth
- Provides easier access to fields
- Reduces energy and labor costs
- Allows you to deliver the nutrient-rich fertilizer directly through an irrigation tube to your plants
Hemp is a versatile and robust crop. If the farmer delivers the right amount of nutrients and water at the right time to exactly where needed, it will produce higher yields of greater quality hemp crops and lower costs.
If you are planning on growing hemp and want to install the best irrigation method for your hemp field, we're here to help you design an efficient drip irrigation system. At DripWorks, we carry complete irrigation kits, all drip irrigation components. Visit our website to explore a wide selection of irrigation products. In case of any queries, you can contact us at 1-800-522-3747 or email us on weekdays.