Hemp requires approximately the same fertility as a high-yielding crop of wheat. Research is continuing to define the exact nutrient requirements. Apply up to 110 kg/ha of nitrogen, depending on soil fertility and past cropping history. Research to date supports the application of 40-90 kg/ha of potash for fibre hemp. Base your phosphorus (P205) and potash (K20) applications on a recent soil test. To interpret soil test information, follow the nitrogen, phosphate and potash recommendations for winter wheat in OMAFRA Publication 811, Agronomy Guide for Field Crops.
Hemp growers in some places may benefit from adding sulfur. It is important to balance the nutrients applied with the crop requirements and with each other. Excessive nitrogen, combined with inadequate potash, for example, can result in stalk breakage and loss of the crop.
About 42% of the plants’ biomass returns to the soil in the form of leaves, roots and tops. These contain over half of the nutrients applied to the crop. Many of these nutrients will be available to help feed the following crop.