An essential part in the hemp farming process is drying the plants after harvesting. Using the term dry is a little inaccurate though. Hemp can have around eight percent moisture still in it when it’s considered dry.
The reason for drying is extraction. Once dry, extraction takes place, and you can collect the lucrative CBD or CBG oils. There’s more than one way to dry hemp, and which option you use can depend on what happens to the hemp next. Working with the right company to dry the hemp for you can properly prepare your hemp for its future use and save you the cost of having to buy a machine yourself.
Before hemp drying machines
Before technology created machines that made hemp drying a more automated process, it got done the hard way. After cultivation, hemp plants were set up to dry by hand. Small bundles hung from the wall of a barn or warehouse. Picture a row of hemp plant bundles, hand-tied, hanging upside down along a wall. They couldn’t get any sunlight, and the temperature had to be just right. Fans and humidifiers were the only machines used to maintain airflow, temperature, and humidity.
A close eye stayed on these drying plants, as they slowly readied themselves for the next step in their journey. If you ignored your plants, there was a chance for mold and mildew to ruin your crop. It was a long, tedious process, that’s no longer the norm.
Hemp drying machines today
With the rapid growth in the hemp industry across the US in recent years, how hemp gets dried has changed. New tools and techniques help make hemp drying more productive which leads to more profitability. New options now automate the process, leading to a greater output. Machines today vary in style and construction, but the two types of hemp drying machines that are at the top are continuous and batch dryers.
Using a conveyer belt or drum, continuous dryers constantly run to dry out hemp. These dryers are high-throughput systems that are often used for biomass. This is because of their output capability and input size requirements.
- Belt dryers work quickly and efficiently to dry large amounts of biomass. Hemp moves through a main drying chamber where a series of mesh belt layers work to dry plant matter. Precise electronic controls maintain ideal conditions for hemp drying.
- Drum style or rotary dryers are available in a variety of sizes based on need. Hemp goes into a rotating cylinder which helps drying occur. This style of farm equipment isn’t new. Rotary dryers date back decades, used for all kinds of agricultural products. Today, their use for hemp is becoming more popular.
While both styles of continuous dryers can handle a large volume of hemp biomass at once, rotary dryers can take longer to construct. Belt dryers are often farm-ready.
Holding a single batch of material at a time, batch dyers create a more controlled environment for hemp drying. It ensures that flavor gets preserved by limiting the heat. Once a batch is dry it comes out, and a new set of material goes in for drying. This type of machine is often used for flower and higher yielding products. Hemp goes into a drying chamber along with the proper combination of heat, airflow, and dehumidifiers to dry it. You can set the controls to ensure moisture is properly pulled from the drying chamber.
Dry your hemp fast with Arbor Vita8
While drying hemp is something any farmer can do on their own, to get it done faster and in larger batches, you might want to work with an outside vendor. Arbor Vita8 helps you get your hemp dried in a more stable form. Our drying rate goes up to 20,000 wet pounds per hour, so large-volume drying is no problem. With very few processors out there able to match our capacity, we can ensure you a spot in the queue when hemp harvesting comes around. We’re also able to store your baled biomass while it waits for processing or extraction. Contact us today to learn more about our seed-to-sale services and support.