Sunday, July 16, 2006

[the following is an extract from the USDA Yearbook 1913, written by Lyster Dewey]
In Kentucky, hemp is commonly grown year after year on the same land without rotation. It is the common practice in that State to sow hemp after bluegrass on land that has been in pasture for many years, or sometimes it is sown as the first crop on recently cleared timberland. It is then sown year after year until it ceases to be profitable or until conditions favour the introductions of other crops. On the prairie soils in eastern Nebraska and also on the peaty soils in northern Indiana, more uniform crops were obtained after the first year. On some of the farms in California hemp is grown in rotation with beans. Hemp is recommended to be grown in rotation with other farm crops on ordinary upland soils suited to its growth. In ordinary crop rotations it would take about the same place as oats. If retted on the same land, however, it would occupy the field during the entire growing season, so that it would be impossible to sow a field crop after hemp unless it was a crop of rye. The growing of rye after hemp has been recommended in order to prevent washing and to retain the soluble fertilizing elements that might other wise be leached out during the winter. This recommendation, however, has not been put into practice sufficiently to demonstrate that it is of any real value. Hemp will grow well in a fertile soil after any crop, and it leaves the land in good condition for any succeeding crop. Hemp requires a plentiful supply of fertilizing elements, especially nitrogen, and it is therefore best to have it succeed clover, peas or grass sod. If it follows wheat, oats, or corn, these crops should be well fertilized with barnyard manure.

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