As we head into the 2019 hemp harvest many questions arise. How much hemp was actually planted, how much will be harvested? How many farmers are ready to harvest and process their hemp for sale?
The last headline any of us want to see is: “Hemp Farmers Leave Millions of Pounds to Rot in the Fields!”
Here are a few strategies farmers can use. For passive drying, you can use barns, warehouses, empty “big box” stores, large tents, or even hoop houses depending on the scale of your harvest. Active drying can be done in a mobile dryer that comes to your farm or coordinating for a larger dryer set up at a regional processing center at different locations around the country. If you are growing high CBD hemp I strongly recommend you DO NOT field dry because of the degrading effect of direct sunshine and the potential for rain showers causing a moldy crop.
Stripping the flowers and leaves from the stem can be done by hand if you have a solid crew. Or you may buy or rent a mechanical device for shucking. The final trimming if necessary can also be done mechanically or by hand depending on the finished product and market you are selling into.
Unfortunately, we are hearing that more than a few farmers are approaching harvest with little or no plans to properly process, dry and prepare their crop for sale in the fall. This is both a challenge and a huge opportunity.
For hemp farmers this is the time to reach out to your employees, friends, other farmers, consultants and put your heads together to come up with creative solutions to get your hemp out of the fields and into storage containers to be ready for buyers.
It is also a significant opportunity for professionals who have the skills to harvest, dry, strip and trim (where appropriate) the 2019 harvest and bring this crop to market.
Over the next 60 days there will be literally hundreds of American hemp farms ready to harvest their crops and they will need help to make it successful.
Decisions made today can make the difference between success and failure. Please contact me so I may direct you to potential solutions for this coming harvest and help ensure all your work comes to fruition!
Zev, if you are contacted by anyone that needs help let me know. If it’s within reasonable driving distance I’d like to do it just for the experience.
Mike – That is very generous. Right now we are looking for complete harvesting services for farmers. Honestly I would search for trimming services companies and see if they are looking for additional hands to help.