As of right now, Hemp farming is believed to be one of THE most lucrative businesses you can invest in. Especially after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, growing and selling industrial hemp and CBD is legal in the US which makes it a billion-dollar market growing exponentially.
A) Common Questions About Hemp Farming Answered:
- What climate is ideal for hemp farming?
The beauty of hemp as a crop is that it can thrive in practically all kinds of climates/environments (with the exceptions of high mountains and desert regions). However, the ideal climatic conditions happen to be warm-weather areas with well-drained soil rich in organic materials.
Grounds with excessively wet soil or places with heavy rains that tend to remain saturated for the most part after rainfalls are not ideal. High-fertility grounds with low-weed pressure are ideal for hemp farming.
- Is Hemp the same as Marijuana?
No, it’s not. Both marijuana and hemp are types of cannabis plants. But, they differ genetically as well as in terms of cultivation. The differences extend well into their chemical properties and overall usage.
Farmers cultivate hemp for seed, fiber, CBD, oil IHF CBG isolate, and also for producing all kinds of products ranging from rope, foods, and fabric. Marijuana, on the other hand, is grown and cultivated to yield THC (a highly psychoactive cannabinoid/ingredient). The latter tend to have more than 20% THC while the industrial hemp has no more than 0.3% THC, as per US federal guidelines.
- What is the best season for hemp farming?
Any season with distinctively hot summers or a cold winter that has large day and night thermal spread is good for growing hemp. Flat grounds with good percolation, cool nights, and hot days with ideal water supply are ideal. Places good for growing high-valley fruits and vineyards are also ideal sights for hemp production.
- What kind of soil do you need?
This is a tricky/complex question to answer. The thing is, Hemp doesn’t really require particularly high-quality soil. However, the best ones are loose soils rich in organic matter. The fertile loams with pH values ranging from 6 – 7 are good.
Hemp doesn’t do well in wet soils as they can restrict the root while causing a significant plant growth. As a result, it can compromise the fiber quality as well as result in plants with uneven heights. All of that can present growers with a set of harvesting challenges.
Clay soils can be excessively wet and there’s also the issue of tillage difficulty. It is, therefore, recommended that you test out the soil months in advance before the actual plantation. Also, apply fertilizers and lime to encourage optimal yields.
B) Paths for hemp farming:
- History of hemp
Hemp has had such a rich history that simply cannot be talked about in one small section. But, you should know that, as a crop, it has a cultivation history of more than 10,000 years old with the earliest evidence supporting production all through ancient Mesopotamia and China.
It was used for applications like rope, fabric, paper, cloth, etc. The seeds and the flowers of the hemp were used for their medical properties. They were used to manage a variety of ailments all through the periods of 2700BC to Roman times.
Historically, hemp has always been one of the richest crops. Even in the 1600s, the law of the land dictated hemp production.
- Growing hemp plants for CBD oil
Apart from its myriad industrial uses, hemp oil has, over the years gained notoriety for the countless therapeutic benefits. It carries CBD which is a special type of cannabinoid that is naturally found in hemp in high quantities. It’s unlike THC which is a psychoactive cannabinoid.
A lot of research has gone into studying CBD for wellness benefits and had promising results.
Some studies show that CBD works best in synergy with other compounds like THC to produce even greater medicinal/therapeutic value. It’s for this very reason that many biotech companies dealing with hemp are being heavily favored on Wall Street.
It’s natural to presume that investing in hemp for CBD oil is, therefore, a lucrative option. However, regardless of what you intend to do with hemp crop, always follow the legal guidelines, get a license, and draw up contracts with buyers to create avenues for your product’s distribution.
- How are these plants grown
You have to know that the hemp plant grown for seed or fiber is treated much differently than the ones grown for CBD oil.
If you’re growing hemp for CBD, you are going to need a certain level of mastery because the cultivation is a little different if you want to maintain highest levels of cannabidiol all the while keeping THC in check (below 0.3% as per federal law)
For CBD, you are only going to need the female plant because the female is the only plant that carries CBD. Growing male and female side-by-side will increase production but reduce the final yield, thus leaving you with loss.
The actual cultivating and harvesting processes cannot be elaborated in one short paragraph.
C) Hemp storage and processing
After the crop has been securely harvested, the grain is cleansed to remove foreign materials. It is then prepared for storage until it is time for the final processing. To avoid the crop from spoiling, make sure that it is properly aerated. Dry it out to maintain 9% moisture.
Industrial farms have belt conveyors for drying purposes. You can also go with an auger but be sure to run it full and slow. This is necessary to keep the seeds from cracking.
Hemp is unequivocally the next big thing. Estimated to become a billion-dollar industry, it’s definitely a smart move if you are an investor looking for a promising area to put his/her money. For more information, talk to a hemp farming expert or a broker.