There are many things that need to come together for a fully functioning hemp industry. But one of the most critical is streamlining an efficient cannabinoid extraction process.
We all know there’s nothing worse than sitting on a bunch of unsellable biomass.
And unfortunately, we’re still battling many issues that make that a harsh reality for hemp farmers.
Here’s what you need to know.
Testing and Compliance Reign Supreme
Too often, farmers neglect to test their biomass at the right time.
In order to avoid legal stalemates, you must make sure a third-party tests your hemp for the following:
- THC content below 0.3%
- Contaminants (heavy metals and pesticides)
Hemp processor and consultant Steve Fuhr told Hemp Benchmarks that he recommends farms conduct four to six potency tests for every ten acres throughout the season. It costs $50 a potency test, which is a wise investment in light of securing usable biomass.
And remember . . .
If you’re transporting hemp, you must have a COA.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to get this testing done before processing begins. Get it right, and you’re in for high-profit potential. Get it wrong, and all your blood, sweat and tears will be for nothing.
Harvesting Processes Matter
They say the devil is in the details . . .
And when it comes to getting sellable biomass, that statement couldn’t be truer.
When it comes time to harvest and dry your crops, opt for hemp-specific machinery.
Generic machine harvesters increase the risk of things like hay making their way into your product, which significantly decreases your hemp biomass.
Keep in mind that processors want to receive a clean product free of mites, dirt, and debris.
So while in-field drying might seem like a good way to save money, most experience hemp-farmers consider it too risky.
Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Invest in the equipment that’s most likely to get you high levels of clean biomass.
And another thing to consider . . .
Communication with Processors is Key
Selling hemp wholesale doesn’t mean you don’t have a customers
It simply means your customer is your process, and you’ve got to understand their specific product needs.
Now, a good rule of thumb is to make sure your hemp isn’t so finely grounded that it breaks trichomes, lowering yield and potency.
And no processor wants a batch of biomass littered with seeds, another yield-killing problem that requires additional labor.
But every processor has a unique optimal range for their hemp, and it’s up to you to find out whether they want courser or finer material.
Finally, make sure you never stretch your farm beyond its capabilities.
As hemp farmers, we’re an ambitious group.
And that’s great. It’s the reason we’re turning the nationalization of hemp into one of the most groundbreaking movements of the 21st century.
Still, small steps are more valuable than huge leaps.
Grow as much as you can, but don’t push beyond what your labor force can handle.
Hemp farming isn’t an easy business. But testing, harvesting properly, and communicating with processors will do wonders in increasing your success.