We conducted a survey of over 8,000 licensed farmers across 32 states. The responding farmers had a range of hemp farming experience with 22% having farmed hemp for multiple years and 88% being new to hemp farming in 2019.
They focused on a range of end products (e.g. CBD-biomass, smokable, seed, fiber, other) with 80% focusing on farming for CBD biomass for oil production.
These farmers have generously offered their experiences for the benefit of the hemp farming community. Here’s a summary of what they learned:
Key Lessons Learned 2019 From Successful Hemp Farmers
- Secure sales contracts before planting (13.4% had pre-sale contracts).
- Buy and plant high quality (high CBD/low THC), feminized seeds (70.7% planted improved genetic seeds; 75.2% planted feminized seeds).
- Grow and cultivate cost effectively (17.7% reported performing mechanical planting and weeding).
- Use fertilizers and pesticides (16.8% reported using some combination of fertilizers and herbicides).
- Test your crop early and often (weekly) to avoid high THC (9.3% reported non-compliant THC levels).
- Cut your hemp – but don’t combine it (farmers who used combines or similar harvesting machines experienced crop CBD% down to 2-4% making it unsellable).
- Dry your hemp:
- If you’re located in a dry climate, let your hemp dry in the field (2.5% field dried).
- If you’re located in a damp climate, hang dry your hemp in a barn (74.2% barn dried) or buck/shuck the hemp wet and take it to a contract dryer in your area, if there is one.
- Separate the biomass from the stalk – don’t combine it (71.2% hand bucked). Those who combined or mechanically ground their hemp (without separating the stalk) lowered the CBD% below the point where processors would purchase it.
- Sell your biomass (16.8% sold most of crop; 11.2% average CBD content)
Most of the commercial-scale farmers who claimed to have had a successful 2019 hemp harvest followed some version of the steps above. Those who made mistakes are learning from their mistakes and moving on.
If you would like to receive these please click the link below and we will send you the additional reports over the coming weeks. If you completed the survey, it was truly anonymous and we don’t know who you are so please click the link below and we will send you the additional reports over the coming weeks.