on 23 Jun 2016, 05:21 AM

Industrial Hemp (iHemp) is made up of varieties of Cannabis Sativa that contain less than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is an annual broadleaf plant with a taproot and is capable of a rapid growth under ideal growing conditions. The female flowers and seeds are indeterminate, meaning that there are both ripe and immature seeds on the same plants at the time of the grain harvest. Fiber hemp plants will grow 2-4 meters tall without branching. In dense plantings, i.e., seed drilled, the bottom leaves fall off due to lack of sunlight and the male plants die right after shedding pollen, generally 4-5 weeks into the growing cycle, lasting approximately 1 week. The stem has an outer bark that contains the long, tough bast fibers. They are similar in length to soft wood fibers and are very low in lignin content. Hemp rope, textiles and clothing is made from these fibers. The core contains the “hurds” or “shives” (short fibers), similar to hardwood fibers and these are used for building, particle board (MDF), pet bedding, as well as plastics. For grain production the plant may branch and reach heights of 2-3 meters. Tall plants do not mean more grain and shorter plants are preferred for combing. In well structured and drained soil the taproot may penetrate 15-30 cm (12”) deep. In compacted soil the taproot remains short and the plant produces more lateral, fibrous roots.