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For profitable hemp farming, particularly deep, humus-rich, nutrient-rich soil with controlled water flow is preferable. Waterlogged acidic, compressed or extremely light (sandy) soils primarily affect the early development of plants.[citation needed] Steep and high altitudes of more than 400 m above sea level are best avoided. Hemp is relatively insensitive to cold temperatures and can withstand frost down to −5 °C.[citation needed] Seeds can germinate down to 1–3 °C.[citation needed] Hemp needs a lot of heat, so earlier varieties come to maturation. The water requirement is 300–500 l/kg dry matter.[citation needed] This is around 1/14th that of cotton, which takes between 7,000 and 29,000 l/kg, according to WWF.[citation needed] Roots can grow up to 3 feet into the soil and use water from deeper soil layers.
The first example of the use of hempcrete was in 1986 in France with the renovation of the Maison de la Turquie in Nogent-sur-Seine by the innovator Charles Rasetti.[31] In the UK hemp lime was first used in 2000 for the construction of two test dwellings in Haverhill.[32] Designed by Modece Architects,[33] who pioneered hemp's use in UK construction, the hemp houses were monitored in comparison with other standard dwellings by BRE. Completed in 2009, the Renewable House is one of the most technologically advanced made from hemp-based materials.[34] The first US home made of hemp-based materials was completed in August 2010 in Asheville, North Carolina.[35]
The seeds are sown with grain drills or other conventional seeding equipment to a depth of 1.27 to 2.54 cm. Greater seeding depths result in increased weed competition. Nitrogen should not be placed with the seed, but phosphate may be tolerated. The soil should have available 89 to 135 kg/ha of nitrogen, 46 kg/ha phosphorus, 67 kg/ha potassium, and 17 kg/ha sulfur. Organic fertilizers such as manure are one of the best methods of weed control.[60]
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