‘Creating a Navajo Standard for the Hemp Fiber Industry’ blog post is presented by the Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute, a non-profit dedicated to developing tribal hemp initiatives in the state of Minnesota. This is a three-part series of their current hemp research. To learn more about their efforts for Tribes, please visit anishinaabeagriculture.org/tribal-hemp-initiative
Hemp Harvesting and Processing
Cutting Hemp for Fiber
The reference to growing hemp for fiber states that the strongest fiber is produced before the hemp reaches the flowering stage. Our sources at Renaissance states that hemp should be cut before the flowering stage and will produce the strongest and best fiber. The recommendation is that a sickle mower works the best for cutting tall hemp. The grass turner on the end of the sickle should also cause the hemp to pile up on the end. The weather forecast should be reviewed to plan around five or six days without rain. Once the hemp is cut it should be dried in the field for four days. On the fourth or fifth day, the stalks should be turned so the dry side is down and the green side is up. Then let it dry for an additional three to four days. The stalks should
be tested for moisture and the moisture content should be between 10-18% before baling it.
The following is a timeline of our documentation this year:
June 1st: 100 lbs of Futura 75 (two bags). Seed was applied at 30 lbs per acre and germination was good. Conditionsfield was prepared and it rained the following day.
July 26th: Cut hemp approximately six to eight feet tall (12
July 29th: Hemp drying in the field still green in color.
August 1st: Hemp color is changing to brown, tops stayed green in color.
August 4th: Hemp color brown, green on the bottom. Mildew showing up on the bottom of stalks. Decorticated two stalks, produced fiber of reasonable quality and strength. Fiber is a little darker brown than the fiber from frozen stalks produced last year.
August 5th: Hemp color brown; all green color is gone. Hemp field grew to 8 ft tall. Plan to plant 6 acres of Futura75 which was planted at two different times approximately two
weeks apart. Six acres were set aside to see the potential of seeds germinating from the previous year. Three acres had fertilizer put on them in Spring of 2021 and three acres
received no fertilizer.