Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization on Growth and Yield of Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)
Fibre hemp is grown for a multitude of end products derived from its cannabinoids, seed, fibre and wooden core. A key factor that influences the quantity and quality of the production of hemp is nitrogen fertilization. The aim of this study was to determine the response of five well-adapted industrial hemp cultivars to different nitrogen fertilization rates during the 2016 growing season. The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design with two replicates, five main plots (hemp cultivars: ‘Bialobrzeskie’, ‘Tygra’, ‘Felina 32’, ‘Sanhtica 27’, ‘Futura 75’) and sub-plots [fertilization treatments: control (N0), fertilizer 46-0-0 at 120 kg ha-1 (N1), 180 kg ha-1 (N2), 240 kg ha-1 (N3)]. For the computation of height, biomass yield, stem dry weight, length and weight of the inflorescences and mean seed weight, 10 plants were randomly selected in each plot. In general, increasing N fertilization rate positively impacts hemp biomass yield, stem dry weight, plant height, and inflorescence indices. Biomass yield, stem dry weight and inflorescence weight increased by 37.3%, 48.2% and 16%, respectively, with the application of 240 kg N ha-1 when compared with the unfertilized control. Plant height and inflorescence length increased from 1.66 to 1.76 m and from 66.2 to 82.9 cm, respectively, with the application of the higher N rate compared with the control, while there were no significant differences between the fertilization treatments for mean seed weight. The varieties ‘Tygra’ and ‘Futura 75’ showed the highest values for all the measurement characters. Our results indicate that hemp responded well to the addition of N fertilizer.
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