Hemp farming lessons are better to learn through peers than practice. Today, we’d like to discuss some of the most common hemp farming lessons to be aware of.
The fact is, new hemp farmers have much to be grateful for. After all, with the industry finally being legal, it is also earning some much-due respect. Unfortunately, with the legalization of this carefully-controlled substance, so, too, comes considerable red tape.
But fret not because we’re here to help.
Top 10 Hemp Farming Lessons – And How to Avoid Them
Mistake #1: Improper Certification
Entering the hemp industry requires gaining licensing from local officials. Those who fail to obtain proper hemp licensing before engaging in hemp activities are subject to fines and a potential inability to grow or process hemp in the future. Obviously, these are expensive hemp farming lessons to learn and must be addressed promptly. Hemp industry professionals must also keep certifications current; most states require annual renewals.
Mistake #2: Insufficient Information
Hemp farmers must know exactly what plants they grow. In fact, farmers must retain precise documents regarding each variety of hemp in their possession in every state that allows licensed hemp farming. Seed certification is part of the process but certainly not the only part. Beyond this, new hemp farmers must also know how to maintain strict growing sanitation and controlled (and secured) growing environments. Additionally, farmers should also know what neighboring harmers are growing as a nearby THC-laden crop could spread pollen and destroy a CBD hemp crop.
Mistake #3: Poor Soil Health
New hemp farmers might be new to the game, but there is one thing that the old dogs will never forget. The health of your soil is one of the most important aspects of your future success. Whether growing indoors or out, soil contamination is a big issue. Following good agricultural farming best practices, whether your hemp is grown outdoors or in a greenhouse, is an important hemp farming lesson to figure out now.
Ensure that your soil is rich in organic matter with a balanced pH. Mulch can help retain moisture and reduce run-off while composted material can help feed plants and aerate the soil.
Mistake #4: Lack of Attention
Hemp seedlings are very sensitive. New hemp farmers often find neglected crops withered, thus rendering the entire growing season a flop. However, you can avoid this hemp farming lesson by carefully monitoring the humidity and moisture of your plants during germination and seedling phases especially.
Mistake #5: Excessive Attention
Most hemp farming lessons are learned within the first season. Though it is important to monitor your crop, it is also important not to “spoil” it, literally. By this, we mean, do not overwater or overfeed your plants in an effort to stimulate their growth. Also, remember to closely monitor pH and adjust as needed to ensure plants get the nutrients they need to thrive.
Mistake #6: Treating Indoor and Outdoor Hemp Crops the Same
Though most new hemp farmers grow outdoor crops, some are taking the entire enchilada inside. There are undoubtedly good reasons to do so, especially if you are serving the medical market. However, the challenges are very different. For example, ventilation is essential for indoor crops. Conversely, security is a prominent issue with outdoor grows.
Mistake #7: Heat Stress
New hemp farmers may not realize how sensitive their plants are to heat – and this is an issue for both indoor and outdoor cultivation. Indoor plants become heat stressed when the light source is too close to the canopy. Alternatively, outdoor farmers may need to create shade for their cannababies.
Mistake #8: Poorly Planned Harvest and Cure
No matter how perfectly the growing season has gone so far, a bad harvest will put a damper on just about everything, including the bottom line. Harvesting too early or too late will affect the quality of the crop, and new hemp farmers are often uncertain about this process. As such, it is critical to have a consultant on hand for the first few times in the field.
Curing and processing the plant must also be carefully planned. Just letting a cannabis crop dry like hay in a field can degrade the cannabinoid content and ultimately reduce the value of the crop.
Mistake #9: Overlooking Quality
No matter how much new hemp farmers are in love with the idea of launching their crop of dreams, it is essential not to get “romantic.” If the crop doesn’t look or feel good enough to sell as smokable flower, other CBD markets may be a better choice. Biomass makes money too, even if it does not cultivate top dollar. Moreover, there is an expanding world of edibles that requires an expanding amount of extract. Therefore, one of the most important hemp farming lessons you can learn is to understand when to cut your losses with a less-than top-quality flower product.
Mistake #10: Poor Post-Harvest Planning
New hemp farmers don’t always think downstream to the final sale before they plant their crops. However, they must do so before they put the first seed in the ground.
For example, farmers must also consider transportation, storage, and distribution of their harvested material. Improper planning of these activities can lead to product degradation and a drop in product quality. Hence, you must ensure that your certified product has an efficient supply chain to get it to the end buyer quickly.
To make sure that your product is part of an efficient supply chain, we suggest seeking biomass buyers before you plant the first hemp seed. Remember to gather contracts from all parties along the chain before the crop is ready for transport, as well.
Final Thoughts About Hemp Farming Lessons
Fortuna Hemp is a world-leading feminized hemp seed bank specializing in fully compliant feminized CBD hemp seeds and services. We have all proper registration to distribute hemp seeds legally across the nation, and we outline each step you must take to gain and maintain hemp licensing in your area.
Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our premium CBD seeds and consultation services.