When to start the harvesting: Tips for hemp growers

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The organic hemp harvesting time is approaching. For many of us, a question may arise: When is the most appropriate harvesting time to gather the mature seeds, and not allow them to drop off? We would like to share a few tips with organic hemp growers.

Observe the lower branches of seeds

The organic hemp is gathered with the use of harvesters 100-130 days after it was sown. The main indicator of the plant’s readiness for harvesting is the maturity of the lower seeds. If the lower seeds are mature, it is recommended to begin the harvest, as this is the time when the plant will have the largest and most useful seeds. There is no need to wait for all seeds to be completely mature. Farmers often make this mistake, or evaluate the harvest maturity according to the plant’s leaves. Sometimes, the whole plant is still green, but the seeds are already mature.

Be quicker than the sparrows

It is best is to complete the harvesting by 15 October. Halfway through the autumn, migrating birds will start to enjoy feeding on the hemp seeds. It should also be noted that stronger winds are typical for the late autumn, which will cause the seeds to drop to the ground.

Replace the harvester blades

Before harvesting, the harvesters should be properly prepared. It is recommended to use new scythe blades for cutting the hemp. It should also be checked that all rotating parts are protected against fibre tangles in the axles, to ensure that the work will be done smoothly and more efficiently.

Threshing is not a Formula-1 race

The threshing should be carried out at a minimum speed of 2-4 km/h and with the minimum amount of revs. In this way, a bigger crop will be collected and few seeds will be scattered. The harvesters should be adjusted to the rapeseed threshing settings.

Harvest when the weather is dry

The threshing should be carried out when the weather is quite dry. In addition, drying should be carried out immediately, and not later than 6 hours after the harvesting. A moisture content that is too high can ruin the crop.