Are you looking for up-to-date information on how to successfully grow industrial hemp?
Or perhaps you are already growing hemp and want to learn some tips and tricks that will help increase profits and output of the crop.
This guide will give you the best tips and techniques to see success in the hemp growing business.
The Ultimate Hemp Farming Guide
1. Start Small.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by going too big too fast. If you have 100 acres that’s great but there is a massive amount of preparation, work, and understanding that must be had/done in order to be able to produce on such a massive scale. Start with an acre or two for your first year, I promise you will have your hands full.
2. Create a Budget & File the Proper Paperwork.
Decide on how much you can afford without betting the farm on your new venture. We would all like to be able to produce Hemp for $0, unfortunately, there will always be costs along the way, a broken pump, labor and so on. Set yourself a budget and try to stay within your financial and physical ability for the year.
Call your Department of Agriculture and talk with them about the proper paperwork to register your garden. Many states have similar yet different pilot programs so the documents needed to grow hemp will vary.
3. Check your Soil.
One of the first things you should do when considering growing Hemp is to find a suitable area in which to grow. You should be looking for land that has a certain amount of infrastructure already in place. The more that is there the less you will need to do to prepare yourself for a successful season. (power, running water, irrigation already in place, outbuildings).
Once you find land that you think is suitable for Hemp production take samples from the soil and send them off to be tested. You can pick up soil testing kits from most extension offices within your state. When you have received your test results back discuss them with someone from the testing facility, local nursery or another qualified individual. Make sure that you are giving attention to the texture, not just the nutrient content.
- Does my soil contain the proper levels of nutrients to be able to grow Hemp?
- Do I need to add more organic matter to the soil?
After you have determined what is there you can start to plan on the best way to amend your field and what to amend it with.
4. Call your Water Authorities.
Without water, you won’t be able to grow much so understand what the water situation is where you live. Also, understand what water types are usable and which are not. You will find out that federal water cannot be used for growing Hemp. Understand the different types of water (Adjudicated, Project, non-Adjudicated) and how it will affect the water usage for your Hemp plot.
5. Have a plan for weeds
There can be nothing more frustrating than spending the time and money to plant a field just to watch it be swallowed up by the weeds. There are many different ways to keep the weeds down from chemicals to more organic solutions such as mulching or even machinery. Depending on the scale of your intended operation select a solution that best suits your needs. For small-scale organic farmers we would suggest straw as it is very inexpensive and can go a long way. By planning your battle with the weeds earlier you will be able to keep them from getting out of control.
6. Select your Genetics.
Understand what the intended end use of your product is. There are many varieties of Hemp and as such it is best to have a focused intent for your Hemp. You don’t want to grow a variety that is intended for fiber and stalk material if you are planning on selling your hemp for Cannabinoid content.
Spend some time finding the best-suited variety for your application.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Make a Few Mistakes.
Every farmer has to start somewhere. The best way to learn is to surround yourself with others in the industry and to simply start growing. You will start to develop an understanding of the plant by being able to spot deficiencies, diseases, water requirements and so much more. Don’t be afraid to kill a few plants along the way, it’s going to happen. Learn from your mistakes and perfect your operation. There are many different ways to cultivate Hemp so it’s best to dial in your own practices.
Talking with others and developing good relationships with your neighbors can go a long way.
"But I Have So Many More Hemp Farming Questions..."
This document was not intended to give you the answers to every question along the way. It is merely a few suggestions on the best way to get started, you will have 100s of questions along the road of becoming a Hemp farmer. A great book to start with is “Teaming with Microbes” by Jeff Lowenfels.
For any further questions you might have or for help finding and selecting genetics please call HempTech Laboratories at 970.247.HEMP.
Now get out there and start growing!