Trial reveals optimal nitrogen rate for hemp

When New York state launched its industrial hemp research project in 2015, SUNY Morrisville was among the academic institutions permitted to grow and conduct research on a crop that had not been grown for some 75 years in New York.

With funding from the New York Farm Viability Institute, Jennifer Gilbert-Jenkins developed trials to learn the optimal nitrogen application rates for this crop.

Gilbert-Jenkins, a SUNY Morrisville associate professor of agricultural science, planted strip trials on campus and on collaborating farms. The trials tested four different N rates on hemp planted for grain, looking for success in terms of general yield, not clean, dried yield.

“After a slow start due to weather, our trials suggested 125-150 pounds of N is needed to maximize fertilization for optimal grain yield. Treatments included 50 pounds N of starter fertilizer, followed with 25, 50, 75 or 100 pounds of topdress N,” Gilbert-Jenkins says.

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