You have probably seen it on the news or read it in a finance article where hemp has started to become a major crop in the United States despite still being an illegal substance on the federal level. However, farming hemp remains to be very profitable in the agricultural world. Because of this, there seems to be an increase of hemp farmers popping up all over the country.
So if growing hemp sounds interesting to you and you want to get into the action, then you will have to have an idea of how to get started from start to finish. So, for your reference, we’ve put together a detailed hemp guide on everything that is required to grow the best quality hemp on the market.
Are There More Than One Growing Conditions For Hemp to thrive in?
It is thought by many that farming hemp is only possible in specific environments or conditions. But what people fail to realize is that hemp is actually capable of growing in every imaginable type of environment.
Hemp growing conditions
Hemp growing conditions can be as harsh or gentle as the two examples listed below.
- The conditions for planting can be in a desert or on the top of the coldest mountain peak. This is how versatile hemp can be and have no problem with thriving.
- Climates that are very warm, have good drainage in the soil, and are rich with organic matter will be the ideal type so that it will be able to produce a huge amount.
Many sources have suggested that you test your soil prior to cultivating or harvesting. When this is done there are a few things that you need to make sure of when it comes to the soil. You need to ensure that the levels of rock phosphates, potassium sulfate, and elemental sulfur are not at a high level. Conducting these level tests is best done during the fall or even the spring. Because of hemp’s growth cycle being around 100 to 125 days, its rate of growth is pretty stable.
What’s the Perfect Way to Plant Your Seeds?
As you plant your hemp seeds, it is suggested that they are sown in the same spot for the plant’s whole life. Although you may be tempted to start the seeds in pots, it is highly frowned against for the sole reason of failing if they are transplanted. This is why they need to be planted directly in the same spot.
The perfect soil temperature needs to be no lower than 50 degrees and no higher than 70 so the perfect time to plant would be no sooner than May and no later than June. When sowing is done during this time period, the hemp seeds will easily and quickly germinate to grow into a lush, full plant capable of producing a good yield.
Do You Need to Tend Your Hemp Crop as Soon as the Seeds are planted?
As soon as you’re done tilling your soil and have planted your seeds, then you need to begin tending the crop. The reason why is because of the moment that the seeds touch the soil they need to be sufficiently irrigated for at least six weeks in the beginning. The reason why this should be done goes back to their ability to withstand hot climates but they can only withstand the heat as long as they were irrigated enough during the early beginning.
Make sure that the hemp pesticides that are used will be safe and know which ones you should avoid
Hemp is literally in its own category and is unable to handle the same types of pesticides that many others are able to. There are also certain regulations in place that govern hemp and specify the type of pesticide that can be used. As you make your way around town to locate a hemp farm, make sure that you enquire about the regulations for pesticides in the area. If you are unable to locate a local hemp farm, then you can easily access the National Pesticide Center where you will find the entire list of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides that both the federal and your local government permits for use on hemp plants.
Should You Grow Organic Hemp for your Crop?
When it comes to deciding how to grow hemp, there is no better way to grow than in organic ways. There is not much extra needed like additives or nutrients in order for the hemp plants to remain well-nourished. The strains of hemp and CBD are very robust and durable which enables them to resist attacks by any disease or pests. Because of this resistance, hemp can be perfectly fine without having any pesticides sprayed on them just to keep the pests away or to assist them in fighting off these bugs.
The hemp plant is also able to grow at an increased speed if it is planted in a climate that is pleasant, well-maintained, and has soil that has been tilled properly. Because of their rapid rate of growth without having any external help, the hemp plant is able to grow faster than the weeds that grow all around it. This allows you to spend your time on more important farming chores than having to have to worry about weeding around them. From an organic point of view, growing hemp is an easy process to maintain, and when people know something is organic, they tend to gravitate towards it more often than not. This can have nothing but positive results for you in the end.
Is Specific Farm Equipment necessary to Farm Hemp?
It is pretty easy to begin a crop of hemp due to the fact that no specific equipment is required. You can easily just use the normal gardening tools that you have lying around in your tool shed. Keep in mind though; this will not work if you plan to use the hemp for their fibers. A whole different process for the fibers needs to be used so in this case you will be required to use specific tools.
Make sure to talk to other farmers in the area and see what tools they use and which ones are the best. You can also see about borrowing tools that they are not using so you will save money on the necessary equipment that you need.
If you cannot afford the required tools to obtain fibers from the hemp, you can easily contract with companies who are able to process your hemp.
What’s the best time of year to harvest hemp?
From the time of hemp seed planting, it is advised to wait for at least 3 ½ months. This timeframe is the amount that is required for your hemp plants to be fully matured. When it gets pretty close to the harvesting time, you will notice that the seeds heads will start maturing starting from the bottom and working up.
Bracts will appear on the seeds and they will be your clue that they have reached full maturity and that harvesting can commence. As we’ve mentioned earlier, there is no necessary harvesting equipment required for harvesting. Just using your combine set to the wheat or canola setting will do the trick.
Keep in mind that the amount of hemp you acquire will be determined by the way you cultivate your seeds. So if done correctly you can expect each acre of hemp to provide at least 1,000 lbs. worth. Also, if you grow your hemp strand organically, you can also increase the per acre amount of product to over 5,000 lbs. worth.
What is the proper storing and processing of harvested hemp?
As soon as you harvest your mature hemp, you need to clean it to ensure that no debris or dirt is left hanging on the grain. Once it is clean, you can then prepare for its storage by ensuring that it is aerated properly to prevent spoilage. When it is being aerated make sure that the moisture level is not more than 9%. This amount will also help prevent spoilage as well as prevent the hemp seeds from cracking.
Is hemp legal or illegal?
Regardless of having below 0.3% in THC, the growing, farming, and extraction of the precious hemp’s CBD compound are still considered illegal under federal law in the US. In order to be “legal” in a state that has legalized it, you are still required to contact your local and county authorities to ensure that you maintain adherence to the regulations that govern hemp. Plus, you need to ensure that the hemp strand that you plan to grow will be below the 0.3% THC limit or you can forget about planting at all.
It is also a good idea to find out if you need to obtain a permit to grow hemp. Your own state’s Dept. of Agriculture will be able to advise you on what is required. Also, you could be required to have proof showing that your intentions with the hemp will remain local to your state.