Charles Schom 1
(Partner: Surge Inc.)
Abstract: This Project was designed to evaluate Industrial Hemp as a crop suited to New Brunswick conditions. In addition four Cultivars, two Hungarian for Fibre, Kompolti and Uniko-B, and two Romanian for seed, Secuieni-1 and Irene, were compared. Each was grown on a quarter acre which in turn was divided into three fertilizer treatments. The design was repeated ten times ie. run at ten sites around New Brunswick. Height and dry weight yield correlated closely; therefore, height was used to describe growth. The experiment was set up to conform to a four way factorial Analysis if Variance. No statistically significant differences existed for differences between Cultivars or Sites. Date and Fertilizer did have statistically significant differences. This failure to identify Cultivar differences overall is probably due to the variability within each one. However, when comparisons were made within fertilizer treatments differences could be identified. A number of questions raised but not answered in this study, centre on the availability of nutrients and interactions with moisture. A drought induced Calcium deficiency seems to have killed the meristematic region of a majority all plants in all of the cultivars at one site. Where the plants grew as they had been expected to they had a slope of at least 1.39 for the regression line of days after planting with inches in height. The yield, dry matter per acre, for the full fertilizer treatment did vary between sites but was over 4,000 pounds per acre at one site and this in just a little over 70 days after planting. However, there was no seed crop to speak of. The maturing heads were attacked by a Fungus, Botritis cinerea which prevented normal maturation. Whether this is an annual event or the result of an unusual year remains to be seen. There were difference between cultivars as to the number of plants infected and the severity of the infection implying that a some genetic resistence may exist. A series of other questions and issues are raised that are relevant to both understanding the plant and successful cultivation as an agricultural crop contributing to the well being of New Brunswick agriculture.
1Surge Inc., P.O. Box 180, Saint Andrews, NB E0G 2X0