Nicknamed the Natural State, Arkansas is divided into six main regions, as per the land type; these include Crowley’s Ridge, Arkansas River Valley, Ouachita Mountains, Ozark Mountains, Mississippi Alluvial Plain, and the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Read on to learn whether this state has the necessary conditions for growing industrial hemp.
Plant Hardiness Zone(s)
The state of Arkansas is divided into several hardiness zones, from 6b to 8a, as per the USDA plant hardiness map. Hemp, on the other hand is a zone 8 to 11 hardy plant.
The state has a humid subtropical climate, just like most of the southeastern section of the US. This means that the summer gets hot and humid while winters are mild. The northwestern part of the state is cooler than the warm southeastern part.
The state has an average temperature of about 62.65 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to mention that hemp flower requires a minimum annual average temperature of 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, too much heat can slow the growth rate of the plant.
Length of Growing Season
The state has a humid subtropical climate, just like most of the southeastern section of the US. This means that the summer get hot and humid while winters are mild. The northwestern part of the state is cooler than the warm southeastern part.
The state has an average temperature of about 62.65 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to mention that premium hemp flower requires a minimum annual average temperature of 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, too much heat can slow the growth rate of the plant.
Average Annual Sunlight
The state receives around 3,097 hours of sunlight each year. During the vegetative stage, hemp plants need more than 12 hours of sunlight to grow to their maximum size.
Average Annual Precipitation
The average annual precipitation for the state is 49.57 inches; the southeastern part of the state receives a bit more rainfall than the northwestern part. The rainiest month in the state is April. The minimum annual average rainfall needed to grow hemp flower ranges between 25 and 30 inches. These plants need more water during the early growth stage.
The state of Arkansas has a mean elevation of 650 feet above sea level. The Ouachita River is the lowest point in the state, at 55 feet above sea level, while Magazine Mountain, standing at 2,753 feet, is the highest point. Hemp flower should not be grown in elevations above 600 to 800 feet above sea level.
Most of the soils in the state of Arkansas are acidic. Since hemp flower does well in soils whose pH level lies between 6 and 7.5, farmers might need to use lime to raise pH to the optimum level.
The official state soil is Stuttgart soil. These soils may be well-drained, or poorly drained depending on whether they are formed over silty or clayey alluvium. Hemp grows well in loamy soils that are well-drained and aerated, with good moisture and nutrient retention capabilities.
Some of the common pests that are known to attack hemp plants in the state of Arkansas include hemp fleas, European hemp borers, spider mites, and aphids as well as fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens.
Obtaining A Hemp Flower Grower’s License In Arkansas
Under federal law, it is illegal to grow hemp flower anywhere in the United States without first obtaining a grower’s license from the appropriate regulatory body for the state in which the interested party intends to plant the crop. For information on the legal status of hemp in Arkansas, as well as a breakdown of the application process, click here. Read about hemp legality by state.