Use this hemp farming checklist to ensure you’re ready to start your legal hemp farming journey.
Hemp farming has been a tradition in the United States since the birth of our nation. From our Founding Fathers to modern-day farmers, farmers have been cultivating hemp for its many industrial uses and health benefits.
However, hemp farming has also seen its share of different political climates, from being a highly profitable asset in the early history of our nation to becoming illegal in the 1970s. Today, hemp is gaining a new footing in our nation’s history thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill and the (re)legalization of commercial hemp.
Gain Proper Licensing
Begin your hemp farming checklist by attaining the proper licensing. Refer to your state’s hemp farming legislation to start the process.
While each state’s licensing regulations vary, there are some standard requirements that aspiring hemp cultivators should expect when trying to acquire their hemp growing license. For example, most hemp growers must undergo a criminal background check. This is one of the differentiating factors between growing a cannabis-derived crop versus a crop like corn or wheat.
Additionally, your state will likely require exact GPS coordinates for the location of your proposed crop sites. Ariel photography or a map of the area is also a common requirement.
License-holders must also take steps to maintain their licensing throughout the year and into the future. Each state outlines the specific procedures required to renew your hemp growing license every one to three years.
One key component to maintaining hemp licensing involves meticulous record-keeping and regular reporting of things like sales and distribution. These agencies may also conduct inspections and tests of hemp crops to ensure that the plants are compliant with federal and local government requirements.
Develop a Plan
The second step on our hemp farming checklist is to develop a plan for the whole hemp cultivation process.
A critical factor of your hemp farming plan should include the procurement of crop insurance. Insurance will help cover yourself and your new hemp farm from any potential legal claims that could come up in the future. The last thing that you want is to lose the farm to which you devoted so many resources. Unfortunately, this is of significant concern if you don’t have insurance to cover potential damages, accidents, or other legal issues.
Planning where to get your hemp seeds and where you will distribute your final product are two important things to consider, as well.
Finding a reputable hemp seed dealer is very important. There are a lot of hemp seed dealers out there peddling sub-par hemp seeds that won’t yield a profitable or even compliant hemp crop. Using a reputable hemp seed dealer for your hemp seed needs is an incredibly important consideration you must determine before you start farming (some hemp farming licenses even require it!).
It is also essential to develop a plan for your hemp post-harvest. Finding buyers ahead of time who are looking for high-quality, legally-compliant hemp biomass will make your transition into hemp farming much smoother.
Growing Hemp is Different Than Growing Other Crops
The last component of our hemp farming checklist is to research hemp and cannabis cultivation thoroughly. Remember that growing hemp is an entirely different crop than most others. To grow a healthy, compliant hemp crop, you must closely monitor developing cannabinoid levels.
To be clear, many factors can alter the cannabinoid composition of hemp. For example, if the THC levels in a hemp crop exceed the 0.3 percent dry-weight, the whole crop becomes “hot” and requires destruction. Most areas do not even allow repurposing unless tilled under as compost.
Hemp can thrive in most environments. However, the best growing conditions for hemp are warm-weather areas with well-drained soil that is rich in organic material. Additionally, hemp benefits most from mild climates with little temperature and moisture variations. If planting in an area of excessive heat or moisture, higher elevations, consider growing your hemp in greenhouses.
Final Thoughts on Our Hemp Farming Checklist
Hemp farming is booming once again across America. If you are considering becoming a hemp farmer, make sure you consider this hemp farming checklist to ensure a successful hemp farming venture!
If you have any other questions about hemp farming or hemp seeds, you can talk to us. We would love to help answer any questions you have!