By Noah Chen
Hemp is without a doubt one of the most versatile plants ever discovered. Not only does the hemp plant have a bevy of uses, but hemp cultivation is fairly easy; after all, it’s no coincidence it earned the nickname “weed.”
Although hemp is easy to put in the ground and make sprout, it doesn’t mean you get a perfect crop no matter what. From checking soil to familiarizing yourself with the local laws, here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when scouting for the perfect plot for a hemp crop.
Hemp needs hot sun and healthy soil
First and foremost, hemp cultivation needs sunlight. While hemp will grow with as little as six hours of sunlight a day, the plants flourish with ten to twelve hours. Try to find a sunny plot in a warmer climate. The soil should average at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and be well-aerated. Water is also important, with hemp needing about 25 inches of rainfall during its growth cycle.
The soil’s acidity level matters too. Ideal conditions to cultivate hemp is in soil with a 6-7.5 pH. Hemp is also a bioaccumulator, meaning it will incorporate pesticides and heavy metals present in the soil into itself. Many hemp buyers will test the product for traces of these elements before completing the sale. Make sure to run soil tests before planting.
Finally, check the levels of sulfur, potassium sulfate, and rock sulfate. Too much of these could damage hemp cultivation efforts.
Get to know your hemp’s neighbors
Hemp cultivation is still a very recently legal practice. The stigma of illegal marijuana is still often attached to the plant. Before deciding to grow hemp, check with your neighbors. Many folks are aware that hemp is legal to grow, but they might not welcome it in their neighborhood.
On that note, some cities and states may have laws and ordinances in place regulating where hemp can grow. If a school or hospital is in the area, the hemp field may have to be a certain number of miles away from those locations.
Hemp fields, producing different end products should also stay separate from each other. When being grown for CBD or CBG, it is essential that female hemp plants are never pollinated. One male hemp plant in a field next door could pollinate, and ruin, your entire crop. If there are other hemp farmers in the area, start building relationships with them. Make sure they are keeping an eye out for pesky male plants. Also, try and keep hemp fields away from any growing marijuana. If pollinated by marijuana, THC levels in the hemp plants will skyrocket well above the legal 0.3 percent.
Locate local buyers and processors for hemp cultivation
If you’re reading this, you’re probably excited by the possibilities of hemp cultivation. But, you’re not the only one. Growing hemp can be a lucrative market, but there’s nothing worse than harvesting acres of the plant and then not being able to find a processor or buyer.
Because the industry is still new, prices are fluctuating. CBD and CBG are both good markets when it comes to production. But, some farmers reported large amounts of hemp biomass flooding the market, lowering the prices of industrial hemp. When looking to start a hemp field, try to line up a solid deal with a buyer in the area. The same goes for your processor. Because they have limited capacity of what they can handle each season, getting on their schedule as early as possible is good. It ensures you have a way to prepare your hemp for the market.
States like Alabama, Colorado, Oregon, New York, and North Carolina have all seen growth in their CBD, CBG, and hemp economies. Looking into these, or similar states, is a good place to start.
The perfect hemp cultivation site is out there
Once you find the perfect site, and secure our license, it’s time to get planting. From seed selection to sale of your final product, Arbor Vita8 can help you have a successful experience as a hemp farmer. Not only can we assist in seed or seedling selection, but our facilities and machinery processes a high volume of hemp in a sanitary, fully-automated way. We’re here to help you get the most out of your hemp crop. Contact us today to learn more.