October 26, 2014

Hemp has successes, failures

“If you grow it, they will come,” said Chris Nelson from Marshall, Mo., standing in the remains of Murray State’s hemp crop, which was harvested Wednesday.

Brannon said the University’s findings could be summarized as, “the good, the bad and the ugly.”

The good: in growing hemp, Murray State found that the largest yields were brought about by seeds that were planted without being tilled. The hemp grew fast in Kentucky’s climate, going from waist-height to shoulder-height in a week’s time, with some plants growing to be as large as 10-12 feet. The average height for the plants was 8-9 feet, and those planted in June were much shorter.

The bad: the University’s hemp crop did not germinate well in a traditional seed bed, tilled and packed with soil or in rainy conditions. Brannon said the school’s lack of knowledge of “when to do what and how” contributed to many of the adverse findings, but these were learning experiences as well.

The ugly: “It’s an ugly plant,” Brannon said. “It’s just not a pretty plant in maturity.”

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