Answers for People Who Want to Grow Hemp
Hemp was once a major crop in the United States. Then, in 1937, hemp farming was made illegal by the Marihuana Tax Act. It wasn’t until the 2010s that hemp was once again made a legal agricultural crop in the United States. Since then, plenty of people have thought about growing hemp. However, many hemp farmers warn that this isn’t a typical crop. It was illegal to grow hemp for generations, so a lot of knowledge about the plant has basically been lost. It’s possible to grow hemp, but experts warn that it’s not easy. There are several things people should consider before entering the hemp market.
The first thing to understand is that while hemp can be profitable, it’s important to understand what the market is like for this crop. Hemp was out of the picture for so long that it can be tougher to connect to marketplaces than it is for crops like soy or corn. Before committing a lot of time and money to growing hemp, potential farmers should connect with other people in the industry. This means attending conferences, learning about seed types, and trying to make connections with brokers.
When it comes to the goods needed to start farming hemp, producers should be careful. Much of the seed on the market is not high quality, and germination rates are low compared to modern crops. Remember, much of modern agricultural science has passed hemp by. Plan to grow a small amount at first. Read up on pollination and be careful that cross-pollination with feral hemp doesn’t happen. This can affect the quality of the final crop. Be clear on goals, because this will impact the type of seed used. For example, for CBD production, pollination is a hazard. It’s important to use feminized seed only.
Lastly, understand the costs. Depending on location, supplies used and labor prices, hemp can cost about $3,500 per acre to produce for an experienced farmer. For someone with less experience and equipment, costs can be close to $6,5000. Make sure to be honest about these costs and factor them into plans about farming. Semi-hidden costs can include irrigation, weed abatement and drying. The easiest way to save on these tasks is to take a DIY approach.