Even though hemp is a relatively easy plant to deal with once it gets into the ground, being a hemp farmer is not without its challenges. The industry itself is still so young, and what’s legal and what isn’t, keeps changing. There’s a lot to keep track of and even more to know when it comes to farming hemp.
Feeling like you’ve got nobody to support you through the process is perhaps the biggest pain point hemp farmers face. It leads to a variety of issues once harvested plants go off for processing.
The trick is to find a processor who understands what it’s like to be a hemp farmer. You want someone who works hard to make things better for you.
No processor transparency
There’s a separation in the industry between the hemp growers and the hemp processors. There’s often a lack of transparency about what goes on after the hemp gets harvested.
Between drying, extracting, and refining, a lot can go on at a processor’s, all of which a hemp farmer won’t witness. Without transparency, it’s hard to trust that the processor is doing everything they claim. You ask yourself:
- Are they being truthful about profits and product totals?
- Are they treating the hemp with the right amount of care?
- Are they working with my best interests in mind too?
The expectation is that if high-quality hemp goes in, a high-quality extract comes out. But, a lack of transparency can make it hard to trust any claims a processor makes.
An ideal processor is so forthcoming about their processes, machinery, techniques, and values that a farmer feels like they’re working with a friend. An ideal processor understands that this relationship is a partnership. It deserves the utmost respect.
Lack of flexibility when it’s time for processing
With so many farmers trying their hand at hemp for the first time, there’s bound to be a bit of a learning curve. One key issue related to this is securing a processing slot. Many new hemp farmers aren’t thinking far enough in advance to get one in time to actually have it ready when their crop has matured.
This leaves a farmer with a crop that’s ready to go, and nobody to do anything with it. Any wait time increases the risk for cannabinoid, and whole plant, loss.
Without flexibility in their schedule, many processors fill up before the hemp season even begins. The trick is either for more options to become available to farmers, or for processors to work closer with farmers, so everyone knows how important it is to reserve processing time early in the season.
Few processors able to meet demand
Even if a processor does have a slot for your crop, most don’t have the right sized equipment to process larger crops at an adequate speed. Smaller capacity equipment worked well when hemp just started out, after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, but it’s not keeping up.
It can be a challenge to find a processor able to meet high-volume demand from multiple farmers. Someone with upgraded, high-end equipment that’s able to get through a significant number of pounds per day. But, a few shining stars are out there.
Limited access to manufacturers
Tying in directly to the uber pain point of no support, most hemp farmers feel left out of the loop when it comes to the manufacturing side of the business. The supply chain isn’t linked in a way that introduces the two ends to each other. Farmers don’t know manufacturers.
Although processors can serve as the middle man, moving one farmer’s hemp to the right manufacturer, there’s still a disconnect. This leaves farmers unsure of what manufacturers really want and manufacturers unsure of what farmers are growing.
A strong processor will take this middle role seriously. They’ll encourage communication between all the parties attached to a single crop of hemp. They’ll encourage interaction and help pass valuable information back and forth.
Gaps in support through the entire process
It’s not just the farmer-to-manufacturer gap that creates a pain point for hemp farmers at times. Other areas within the process are lacking the right level of support. This is a seed-to-sale issue, mostly starting with selecting the right genetics.
A farmer has to take into consideration their soil, climate, and weather patterns when picking the right strain of hemp to grow. Not only that, they need to know what’s in demand so they can be sure they’ll sell their hemp once it’s harvested. Without these key pieces of information, there’s no guarantee of success, but who should a new hemp farmer talk to?
Finding the right resources is challenging all around. Having a central location for all the details, as well as a trusted partner to connect with when there are questions makes all the difference. The right processor can fill this role and end up being the best source of information any time a farmer confronts a gap in their knowledge.
Arbor Vita8 checks all the boxes
With an impressively large facility in Phenix City, Alabama, Arbor Vita8 is one of the diamonds in the rough when it comes to fixing pain points in hemp processing. Not only is our quality unbeatable, but we put significant time and energy into everything we do. Our machinery is the best. It’s efficient, safe, and able to handle large quantities of hemp. Our team has a lot of experience in the industry, witnessing both the good and the bad to the point that we understand what it’s like to struggle as a hemp farmer. That’s why we’re here for you every step of the way, from seed selection to final sale. To learn more about all we can do for you, contact AV8 today.