Hemp is a misunderstood word. Time and again hemp is equated to marijuana. With the influx of so many information scattered throughout the internet, hemp is much better understood now than before. There are a few misconception but they are easily corrected nowadays.
Hemp has many uses. It is a very versatile plant. Its seeds and flowers are used in health foods such as CBD oil, organic body care, and other nutraceuticals. The fibers and stalks are used in hemp clothing, construction materials, paper, biofuel, plastic composites, and more.
Because of these varied and beneficial use of hemp many farmers are switching their lands to plant hemp. Making money from hemp farming is the new hope for many soybean farmers.
There was a time in US history when hemp was banned. The reason was more of political than economics. It was banned by law to protect the paper industry. Hemp paper production is so feasible and profitable that it threatened the paper industry into oblivion. This happened in 1937 with the passing of Marijuana Tax Act. Although this law did not prohibit hemp farming, alternative products came about that led to the decline of the hemp industry.
2018 Farm Bill
2018 Farm Bill revived the hemp industry. With so many incentives to farmers and the ever-growing market for CBD oil and other hemp products, the industry is burgeoning. We now see clothing made from hemp; hemp paper; biofuel; and the ever popular CBD oil. There are more agricultural land converted to hemp farming usually from soybean farms which took a bad hit due to increased tariff imposed on China.
How Easy Is Hemp Farming
Hemp plant is a very sustainable crop to grow. It can grow on almost any type of soil. Hemp is a very dense plant where the sunlight does not penetrate its leaves. The leaves give shades to the soil which grows less weeds. Less weeds, less pesticides; less expense to operate.
Before you grow hemp, get a license. You can apply at any Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection of your state, if there is one. If there is none, its probably because planting hemp is prohibited in your state.
The Secret Is In The Choice Of Correct Seed Strain
Researchers in hemp seed strain emphasized that the secret to productivity and profitability of your hemp farm is in the correct choice of your planted seeds. Not all hemp seeds are created equal. Not all hemp seeds yield profitably.
There are a few hemp strain in the market now. They are: Berry Blossom, Elektra, Charlotte’s Web, Cherry Wine and Lifter to name a few. These strains have different characteristics and yields. They also have different CBD yields and other by-products such as terpenes.
Your choice of hemp seed strain will depend on the kind of output you expect from your farm. The afore-mentioned strains have been tested and researched to be sustainable and productive.
Hemp Farming Is Profitable
In 2018 farmers lost $20 on average per acre planted to soybeans. In 2019 the projected loss is $47 per acre. The increased tariff imposed by US on China unfavorably affected the price of exported soybeans. As the trade war between US and China persists interminably, the projected loss per acre is devastating to soybean farmers.
According to Hemp Business Journal hemp farmers can make around $250 to $300 per acre in profit if they grow hemp for grain; and around $480 per acre if growing hemp for fiber. If a farmer grows hemp specifically for CBD extraction, they can make $2500 per acre or more.
This is good news to our farmers. The CBD oil market alone is estimated to be $20 billion in 2024. Hemp farming has a very bright outlook for US farmers who are facing a crisis in soybean farming brought about by the US-China tradewar.
Colorado Hemp Farming
The state of Colorado is one of the pioneers in supporting industrial hemp farming. Industrial Hemp Program is a website that contains extensive information on hemp farming. They have information on certified hemp seeds from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The state also launched its own Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan (CHAMP) where it deals with the innovation, cultivation, testing, research, processing, finance and economics of the hemp industry.
Even before Farm Bill 2018 was passed, there is a pioneer hemp farmer in Colorado. His name is Ryan Loflin. He took the risk even when hemp was even frowned upon. Mr. Loflin started by ordering hemp seeds from Europe and cultivating those seeds until he has enough to plant them over a 60 acre farm. He took the leap of faith when he learned that Canadian farmers are making $300/acre on hemp instead of $40/acre off wheat. Although there was no clear cut mandate on hemp at the time Colorado legalized marijuana in 2013, hemp was included as cultivatable.
Because of this event, Colorado became a leader in hemp cultivation. There are many resources available to a start-up hemp farmer. There is a tremendous potential earnings in hemp farming.