Hemp is renowned worldwide as a super-crop with a wide variety of uses, but what does it take to grow it? Stick around as we guide you through the preparation process on how to grow hemp.
Hemp has been grown by farmers around the world for thousands of years, some even speculate that it is the world’s oldest cultivated crop. Hemp (also known as Cannabis sativa) is a plant that does not elicit psychoactive effects due to the crop’s minimal concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the dominant presence of cannabidiol (CBD). As a result, hemp is a safe and effective treatment option for several medical ailments.
Hemp is an ideal crop for farmers because it possesses resistance to pests and irritants and has a growth that is so tall, it surpasses weeds, reducing the need for manual cultivation, which is a significant labor cost for most other organic crops.
The perks of growing hemp are numerous, but it is hard work and can be challenging to navigate alone. A versatile crop like hemp requires an elaborate planning system. Check out Farmer’s Calendar for more in-depth information on when and how to grow hemp.
Continue to read below for our ten steps to follow for a successful journey into hemp farming:
Step 1: Understand the legality and requirements
There are various restrictions on hemp cultivation. The 2018 Farm Bill paved the way for the legal production of hemp. However, hemp farmers must adhere to certain policies, particularly that the crops must have a concentration of 0.3% THC or less. This is the crucial percentage that separates hemp from marijuana. If the crops exceed the 0.3% THC limit, in compliance with the law, they must either be destroyed or remediated. Remediation of non-compliant plants involves the dilution of THC from hemp extract.
It would help to study the local cannabis laws in your area before purchasing any hemp seeds or plants. For more information on varying state laws on hemp cultivation, click here.
Step 2: Learn the ideal conditions on where and how to grow hemp plants
Hemp is a seasonal crop that can thrive in most areas of the United States, excluding locations with extreme desert conditions and mountain tops. Hemp flourishes in a warm climate and grows favorably within properly drained soil that contains a high amount of organic matter.
Generally, hemp seeds are planted directly on the area it is expected to grow instead of transplanting from pots. However, in locations with harsher climates, farmers may begin planting them indoors and moving them outside upon suitable weather conditions. Furthermore, seedlings need an irrigation system for the first six weeks of planting. This would be the best time to decide on the type of irrigation system you would want to utilize for your crops. Learn about the irrigation systems for hemp cultivation and consider the overall costs before deciding to plant any seeds.
Step 3: Research and network the hemp industry
Before jumping into a new venture, especially with one like hemp, patience and homework are essential. Take your time in learning everything you would want and need to know about how to grow hemp. Every unanswered question in your head must receive clarity.
Do extensive research online and speak with the local hemp farmers in your state to learn about their experiences. Additionally, if your state has a hemp growing association or organization, sign up! This is an excellent way to meet and network with other local hemp farmers.
Step 4: Understand your goals
What are you hoping to achieve by learning how to grow hemp? It is always a good idea to begin this process out with a specific goal in mind. Once you have established what it is, work your way backward from that goal. You may also want to ask yourself the type of hemp product you would like to cultivate. Most hemp farmers decide on specializing in CBD oil production, but there are others that grow hemp for seeds or fiber. For more information on the increasing interest in growing hemp for fiber, click here.
Step 5: Pre-sell your hemp
Ideally, you would want a customer or two secured for purchase before harvesting the crops so you may easily unload the harvest. Once the crops are ready, you will have limited time to sell them before the crops wilt or get too hot. Securing a buyer beforehand allows you to unload your harvest without having to worry about the risky and time-consuming process of looking for buyers later on.
Step 6: Create a business plan
It is better to encounter problems during the planning stage of hemp farming than once you are out in the field.
We suggest that you forecast modest and reasonable profits. Though reaching for the stars is ideal, it is unlikely for first-time hemp farmers to see a return on investment. The hemp industry can be unpredictable, but with time and dedication, chances are you will be able to meet your expenses and generate a profit.
Step 7: Attain a permit
Every state upholds its respective policies on hemp farming. However, you may likely need to request a license or permit to grow hemp in your state. You may also need to register with your city or county. Contact your state’s agricultural department to determine the prerequisites for establishing a hemp farm. You may hire an attorney with prior experience in hemp agricultural laws to ensure that your paperwork is compliant. To learn more about the compliance statuses and requirements per state, you may check this link.
Step 8: Fulfill the labor needs
Hemp is a labor-intensive crop, so it would be helpful to recruit experienced and capable workers who can help in culling male plants, watching for pests, and maintaining the ideal field and soil conditions. Check your field daily, and assess that all sustainable conditions for the crops have been enforced.
Step 9: Observe the soil
As the day to plant your seeds approaches, it is fundamental to ensure that the soil is in ideal condition, which will help the crops grow fast and stable. We highly recommend testing your soil for traces of elemental sulfur, rock phosphate, and potassium sulfate to assure that the levels are not prohibitive. Furthermore, make sure the soil is well-drained before planting seeds.
Step 10: Buy your seeds and get to planting
Now you know how to grow hemp! We are almost at the end of the tunnel, and it is time to purchase your hemp seeds. At this stage, you likely know what type of hemp crop you would want to cultivate. If not, check out this link for more information on various ways you can utilize hemp. Ensure that you conduct this purchase at an official hemp seed store or business, not a seed reseller. The company may assist you and provide more information and personal guidance during the planting and cultivating process.
Zera Hemp Labs: Committed to Hemp Safety and Efficiency
Understanding how to grow hemp is a process that entails dedication and patience. With a plant that has over 25,000 known uses and benefits, cultivating hemp is a journey that must be handled with care. The journey does not stop once the seed is planted; the journey ends once the product positively and safely impacts a consumer.
We have guided you through the starting points of hemp farming, but our aid does not start and end there. We are here to assist you throughout the entire process, from the planting to the cultivation and beyond.
A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a requirement by law for every hemp farmer. For a $49 investment with Zera Hemp Labs, you can get a cannabinoid potency test, which provides the information you need to stay in compliance, promote safety, and build credibility in your new venture. Expect your COA within three to five days, depending on the test.
Plant away! And if you have any inquiries, feel free to reach out at email@example.com. We would love to hear from you.