To say it all comes down to this would be an understatement. Honestly, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to farm hemp on a large scale. You need the capital and the equipment to pull it off, and most anyone can figure that part out.
But what you do in the last 6-8 weeks is critical.
As I observe all the hemp farms in our region, I’m starting to believe that many farmers did not have a plan.
What really matters, is how you finish the season. These plants need to be dried properly and shucked properly. It appears many new farmers did not consider this part. Probably expecting it to all work out in the end.
What happens when the weather doesn’t cooperate? Do you have a plan B or plan C? In our region, there are farms with hemp plants cut in the field and just laying in piles…in the rain. Not good.
And the other thing that puzzles me is how farmers will farm this crop with no-one to sell it to. Right now there are millions and millions of pounds of biomass available, and not enough processors to process it.
So there will be thousands of farmers around the country that did all this work for nothing, because they didn’t have an end game plan. Their plants molded, or they had a successful crop with no one to buy it.
Rant over. Let’s focus on the positive.
For us, we cut the majority of our plants at the beginning of October. We hung about 9000 plants in the barn, and field dried about 1500. We picked a pretty good window of opportunity for field drying and those plants are already dry, combined, and in bags in the processing facility. I have been told they will be processed into oil next week.
It took about 9 days to hang 9000 plants. It was a lot of work. We used bailing twine, and hung plants from the rafters to the ground. The barn is packed.
The plants have been in the barn for about 20 days, and are really close to where we need them to be. We tested the moisture levels yesterday, and they are around 10%, so we plan on combining those plants this weekend.
It is a really good feeling as we see the fruits of our labor safely in bags and shipped off to be processed. At that time, we know we did everything we could do, and it is our of our hands. Really good feeling.