North Dakota enjoys cold snowy winters and warm hot summers. Typical summer temperatures are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The soil in North Dakota has a lot of organic matter in it and is ideal for large garden crops such as canola, flax, wheat, sunflowers, and hemp flower.
Plant Hardiness Zone(s)
North Dakota has two distinct plant hardiness zones – 3a and 3b in the northern region and 4a and 4b in the southern parts of the state. These are due to a cold and chilly climate which is not ideal for growing premium hemp flower although certain hemp species are more suitable for cold conditions than others.
North Dakota falls in a North Temperate thermal zone which means that it generally has cool to mild temperatures. Average annual temperatures range from 27 to 55 degrees F with highs of 69 and 79 degrees F in the summer months. Hemp flower, a thermogenic plant, prefers warmer temperatures of around 70 – 79 degrees F making summer the perfect growing season.
Length of Growing Season
The ideal planting time for hemp flower is in the late spring when the frost has thawed and soil temperatures have increased normally in early to late May in North Dakota. Hemp flower is a short-day plant which means that it will only start maturing when the days get shorter than 12 hours which normally occurs in about August. Harvesting is recommended for about 7 to 8 days after full maturation of the plant.
Average Annual Sunlight
North Dakota receives an average of 200 days of sun per year which is ideal to meet the heliotropic needs of the hemp plant.
Average Annual Precipitation
The southern region of North Dakota receives more average annual rainfall (around 2 inches) than the northern region (around 17 inches). Most of this rainfall does occur in the summer months. Hemp flower prefers 10-12 inches of rain throughout the growing season and the southern parts of North Dakota are better suited to this crop.
The elevation in North Dakota ranges from a low 750 ft above sea level to over 3,000 ft. Hemp flower is highly adaptive and will grow at most elevations however, a crop is more likely to flourish in mountainous regions.
The average soil pH in North Dakota is 7.4 although this can depend on the landscape in a specific region of the state. Hemp prefers a soil pH level of between 6 and 7 and although North Dakota is slightly higher than the desirable level, soil conditions are generally good for cultivating hemp flower.
Hemp plants prefer loose soil rather than compact soil. Regions, where the landscape is level or has gentle rolling hills, provides looser soil in North Dakota. However, it is important to note that higher than average rainfall in spring can result in compacted soil that can negatively impact hemp cultivation and harvest.
There are a number of pests that affect hemp – most notably mites and aphids – which will need to be carefully controlled as the weather warms up in North Dakota. Special attention should also be paid to caterpillars, Amryworm and Cutworm that occur in the region. Pesticides should preferably not be used once flowering has taken place as toxins can remain on the heads.
Obtaining A Hemp Flower Grower’s License In North Dakota
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 North Dakota, as well as a breakdown of the application process, click here. Read about hemp legality by state.