Brazeau County, WCFA, and the University of Alberta Breton Plots collaborated and began an applied research trial on industrial hemp in 2017. WCFA’s plot was established at NW 14-049-09-W5M. Since the plant has typically been coming out of the eastern United States, there were some doubts about viability in the west-central region of Alberta, with our gray wooded soil type and short growing season. Brazeau County strongly encouraged this research trial to better assist their producers and industry in the region.
The objective of this variety trial was to determine the viability of hemp as a crop to be grown within Brazeau County. It was also intended to demonstrate hemp to stakeholders in the area and educate producers on hemp production and how it could potentially fit into their operation.
2017 Trial Summary
The trial was seeded using a small plot Fabro disc seeder. Seed was either placed directly using the seed drill to a depth of one inch (disc drill treatment) or were 'broadcast' on by undoing the hoses on the seeder and allowing the seeds to fall on the ground (broadcast treatment).Seeding rates were: 30 lbs/acre for the disc drill treatment and 60 lbs/acre for the broadcast treatment.
Five varieties were tested during the trial (each variety was replicated three times for each of the seeding methods). The varieties used were:
Seeding was unable to be conducted until June 19 due to the weather and the excessive moisture present at the site. Applications of chemical for weed control were made twice during the season, but the trial still faced significant weed pressures throughout the season.
The 2017 trial ultimately performed very poorly, but did provide us with a number of learning opportunities and recommendations to implement moving forward. WCFA will be seeding another Industrial Hemp Trial in 2018.
To view the full report please download the PDF below