Muddy Start to the 2015 Hemp Planting Season

It’s no secret that we’ve had an extraordinarily wet spring season this year along parts of the Front Range. The heavy rains have impacted hemp farmers, preventing many of them from planting their fields.

IMG_2776The soil type on the farm I lease is a sandy loam over heavy clay. It generally drains well until it is saturated down to the underlying clay, at that point it becomes mud.

The mud is difficult to work in and easily becomes compacted under foot or equipment. With the soil in this condition it makes no sense to attempt to plant seeds or plugs.

So I wait. And each morning on my way to work I stop by and walk the field to gauge the moisture. I’m certain that one day soon the ground will absorb the excess and I can get on with planting my hemp projects.

My patience is propped up with the knowledge that at least one of my projects is moving forward in spite of field conditions.

IMG_2765 This project is a back-crossed generation of seed that will be used to construct a genomic map of the cannabis plant. This is the work of the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative which operates from the Kane Laboratory at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

This step of the CGRI project requires a controlled planting of around 300 seedlings spaced 3 feet on center. These plants will be numbered, measured and planted. Later they will be sampled for leaf morphology, chemotype and genotype.

The seedlings for this project are growing indoors in an outbuilding on the farm property. They will be planted just as soon as the soil is dry enough.

Until then, I wait.



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