Hemp Agronomics


Hemp is produced for grain, fiber and cannabinoids. Production of grain and fiber has been done commercially using modern agricultural methods for decades. Production of cannabinoids (e.g. flower) has developed and two principal methods of production have emerged. As a genetics provider, it is imperative that we breed cultivars suited to the industry standards for production methods, so we are monitoring developments in not only growing equipment, but also processing equipment and end market traits so we can continue to develop the best, highest returning genetics for each product pipeline in grain, fiber, and cannabinoids.

New West Genetics seed customers receive a comprehensive agronomic support package to ensure the success of their crop. Please visit our customer portal for more NWG specific agronomic recommendations or to get connected with the team.


“ABOUND hemp genetics give experienced row crop farmers an easy transition to add hemp to their rotation while utilizing existing equipment.”

-Daniel Willis, NWG Agronomist


Multi-Purpose Production

Multi-purpose hemp grain production can be managed like other common row crops. NWG has extensive experience with multi-cropping.  Why? Because we breed all parts of the plant, from our small scale breeding plots to our large scale seed production fields, we have learned best practices, and mistakes to avoid. We are happy to share our extensive agronomic expertise with NWG customers and those interested in agronomic services.

Multi-purpose production methods are determined by which crop your end contract has given you the most value for. Production methods for each part of the plant can be adjusted to maximize yield for the highest value product. The other parts of the plant become monetized co-products.  These products still have value, but yields may be reduced in order to favor the product with the highest contract value. There are always tradeoffs, but this approach to production makes the most ROI for experienced farmers.

Single Purpose Production

Single purpose production of any of the parts of the hemp plant is generally manageable.  For single purpose grain or fiber, farmers’ existing equipment (planters, combines, swathers, and balers) can be slightly modified and used successfully.  For flower production, we have some additional equipment recommendations that preserve the cannabinoid content through mechanical threshing.


  • Grain production is straightforward for experienced row crop farmers. Unlike most row crops grown in the United States, hemp is generally harvested before the plants have fully dried, making it necessary to use grain drying equipment to reach a stable moisture and preserve quality. Most existing equipment works well but may require a few on-farm modifications for optimal operation.


  • Hemp stalks can be harvested for bast and/or hurd components. Bast fibers are natural cellulosic fibers found in the phloem of the stalk. These long string-like fibers are typically used to produce textiles. Hemp hurd fibers (also called shives) are the inner core fibers of the hemp stalk and can be used in a number of ways including bio-plastics, hempcrete and animal bedding.
  • Production of hemp for bast and hurd is similar to grain production. Increasing planting density (as high as 1,000,000 seeds/acre or more) will result in smaller diameter stems and a higher ratio of bast to hurd.
  • Harvest varies considerably depending on the intended use and whether the crop is grown for stalk biomass only, or as a dual-purpose crop for grain and fiber. In the case of a fiber only crop, forage harvest equipment can be used without major modification where the crop is cut, dried and baled. In the case of a dual-purpose crop, the colas can be direct-harvested for grain prior to cutting, drying and baling the standing stalk.
  • Resources for more information on fiber production: www.hemptrade.ca/eguide


  • NWG has bred their row crop style genetics for enhanced CBD so farmers can mechanically cultivate, and then take advantage of multiple markets for all three products – grain, flower, and stalk. With decreasing price per pound of CBD, there is little margin for the high cost of manual labor.
  • We believe dioecious cultivars optimized for cannabinoid production is the only economically feasible approach to scaling production of these valuable compounds. It is based on the power of seed multiplication that all large-acreage commodity crops have utilized to create planting seed cost effectively.
  • We expect the harvest methods will continue to innovate and adjust to continually improve yield. Regardless of method, NWG will continue to create planting seed that provides the farmer with a risk-free, high yielding, profitable crop.
  • Two distinct paths for flower production in the industry are:
    • Utilize a “bushy” type genetic, like that from feminized seed or clones – these are more manually intensive methods.
    • Use a “bulb” type genetics, usually dioecious that can be mechanically harvested.

“An important part of New West Genetics’ vision is to create varieties that can take advantage of farmers’ existing equipment.”

-Dr. Rich Fletcher, Director of Breeding

New West Genetics Mechanical Hemp Cultivation