Title

Evaluating Soil Properties Under Hemp Production in Western Kentucky

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Horticulture

2nd Student Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

2nd Student Major

Horticulture

2nd Student Minor

Biology

3rd Student Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

3rd Student Major

Horticulture

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Iin Handayani

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Evaluating Soil Properties Under Hemp Production

in Western Kentucky

Abigail Keairns, Skye Drane, Madison Carmichael

Mentor: Dr. Iin Handayani

Hutson School of Agriculture, Murray State University

ABSTRACT

Hemp production was banned in the United States in 1937 and then legalized almost 80 years later in 2018. Hemp is presenting itself as a popular and healthier alternative to tobacco farming, thus it is imperative that soil properties are examined in various hemp crop rotations. This study was conducted to evaluate soil properties, such as water holding capacity (SWHC), soil water content at field capacity (SWCFC), bulk density (BD), soil organic matter (SOM), and the level of acidity. The study site was in Calloway County, Kentucky. The soil samples were taken at a 0 to 8 cm depth from five fields: four short-term (one year) crop-rotated fields including tobacco-hemp, corn-hemp, soybean-hemp, and sunflower-hemp as well as a monocrop field of hemp-hemp. The majority of the soil textural class in this study was silt loam and generally was eroded. The data shows that the highest SWHC and SWCFC was found in the sunflower-hemp field and the lowest was in the tobacco-hemp field. The highest soil compaction was observed in tobacco-hemp and hemp-hemp rotations. However, the magnitudes of SOM content was relatively similar among the fields, ranging from 2.8-3.6%. Further monitoring of soil changes due to hemp production needs to continue because current research is limited. The results of this study will provide quality information on this relatively under-researched plant as well as promote hemp production in crop rotation systems.

Keywords: acidity, bulk density, hemp, organic matter, soil water retention.

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Evaluating Soil Properties Under Hemp Production in Western Kentucky

Evaluating Soil Properties Under Hemp Production

in Western Kentucky

Abigail Keairns, Skye Drane, Madison Carmichael

Mentor: Dr. Iin Handayani

Hutson School of Agriculture, Murray State University

ABSTRACT

Hemp production was banned in the United States in 1937 and then legalized almost 80 years later in 2018. Hemp is presenting itself as a popular and healthier alternative to tobacco farming, thus it is imperative that soil properties are examined in various hemp crop rotations. This study was conducted to evaluate soil properties, such as water holding capacity (SWHC), soil water content at field capacity (SWCFC), bulk density (BD), soil organic matter (SOM), and the level of acidity. The study site was in Calloway County, Kentucky. The soil samples were taken at a 0 to 8 cm depth from five fields: four short-term (one year) crop-rotated fields including tobacco-hemp, corn-hemp, soybean-hemp, and sunflower-hemp as well as a monocrop field of hemp-hemp. The majority of the soil textural class in this study was silt loam and generally was eroded. The data shows that the highest SWHC and SWCFC was found in the sunflower-hemp field and the lowest was in the tobacco-hemp field. The highest soil compaction was observed in tobacco-hemp and hemp-hemp rotations. However, the magnitudes of SOM content was relatively similar among the fields, ranging from 2.8-3.6%. Further monitoring of soil changes due to hemp production needs to continue because current research is limited. The results of this study will provide quality information on this relatively under-researched plant as well as promote hemp production in crop rotation systems.

Keywords: acidity, bulk density, hemp, organic matter, soil water retention.