Nice and informative post, Keith!
Figured I would chime in since you’ve got the first post on the cultivation section and many eyes will come this way. For some new hemp farmers, feminized seeds are the way to go. The main reasons are:
– Less maintenance required to fields due to not having to remove as many males after they start to show their sex (late July-August). Good feminized seeds normally have 1-2 males per acre.
– Higher CBD potency (normally 1-3% points higher CBD on hemp plants with no seeds)
– Higher value. Smokable hemp flower is one of the most lucrative parts of the industry and on top of a slow dry and cure, the material must also be seedless
However, farmers should know growing regular (unfeminized) isn’t a bad option either. The main advantage is cost, regular seeds are sometimes 10x lower in price than feminized varieties. If the goal is a female only field, males can still be removed when plants begin to show their sex. Otherwise, letting your fields get pollinated will impact CBD potency and yields slightly but not enough to the point it doesn’t make sense. We’ve seen hemp flower full of seeds and still testing around 17% CBD and averaging 1500-2000 lbs yield/acre.
The main pros to regular seeds are:
– Lower initial cost
– If you don’t mind seeds, less maintenance
– No worries of cross-pollination from neighboring farms
– The future of large scale hemp cultivation
– Beginner friendly
Farmers also have the option of going with clones, but we would advise against that. Seedlings have faster growth, lower cost of production, and heavier yields than clones.
Good luck to all this 2019 season!