Progress has been made on our 1-acre industrial hemp trial garden. The drip irrigation system has been installed and the first round of plugs will be ready for planting on Monday.
The data we will be collecting from this trial garden is invaluable for farmers and the hemp industry in the Southwest. Hemp is a new cash crop in Arizona, and farmers are reasonably hesitant to plant risky crops because of the unknown.
We will track the progress of hundreds of field grown hemp plants from plug to harvest. Over 20 different strains of CBD and CBG will be analyzed measuring vegetative growth, flowering, yield, water consumption, nutrient needs, pest management, and overall plant health.
The test garden team is led by Kimberly Rodriguez who has a Masters in Horticulture from New Mexico State University. She brings her experience in large scale chili pepper farming to our industrial hemp program with a goal to compile research and data proving successful hemp strains for the Southwest.