By Andy The Farmer
The saying “there’s safety in numbers” is a great one for hemp farmers to live by.
There are a lot of moving parts in the new hemp industry, making it difficult to find balance when going it alone for the first time. But you don’t need to go it alone.
Studying hemp’s needs — combined with the ebb and flow of government rules — can be a heavy lift by yourself. In many cases, we simply don’t know what we don’t know.
The best lessons to be learned are from other farmers who have been there, done that.
And that’s where hemp associations come into play.
If the 2019 growing season demonstrated anything, it’s the challenges we face in this new industry. A lot of the events that played out last year have become cautionary tales not to repeat.
There’s no reason to repeat them if we’re all well informed.
Knowledge is power, and knowledge about hemp farming is most effectively learned by communicating with others in the field. That means networking with your fellow farmers.
Who Else Wants to Navigate the Hemp Industry With Expert Farmers?
In 2020, we’ve got a lot more data to share than in previous years.
You’ll find a greater number of credible seed breeders and tons of useful information about quality genetics that can flourish in local regions. There’s more out there on when to rely on machinery to plant, harvest, and process hemp, and as well as how to lock down a buyer in the beginning stages of your hemp farm.
A lot of us are coming to this key information through hemp organizations. And it’s streamlining our work.
Local hemp associations and cooperatives can help with topics large and small:
- Sourcing hemp strains for specific climates
- Pooling mechanical and labor resources
- Group buying and selling power
- Setting up networks of buyers
- And so much more
Support from fellow hemp farmers — who’ve previously tackled all those same issues — can save you time, money, and headaches over the long run.
We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Members of hemp organizations have wrestled with all these problems before and figured out clever solutions.
Hemp farmers who’ve dealt with trusted seed sellers, for instance, can tell you the best hemp strains for resistance to native pests and molds. They’ll know about strains to buy from trusted sellers that are rich in CBD and CBG, ones that have the best germination rates and stable genetics.
Access Hemp Processing Machines through Hemp Associations
Because hemp requires a large overhead to cultivate, it’s good to partner with associations that can provide access to costly equipment that saves you time and money. Machines for tilling, bucking, and drying can be incredibly expensive — but when we pool our resources, the cost to operate gets spread across members.
I’ve talked with farmers who are experienced in land bartering with other farmers for bucking and drying machinery.
It’s difficult to do this alone. Like an army platoon…
We’re stronger when we join the battle together.
Besides utilizing shared resources, cooperatives mean collective buying power for goods like hemp fertilizer. Bulk purchasing always means better pricing.
Discover the Best Tips Behind Harvesting and Processing Hemp
Partner farmers can advise on the best methods for harvesting and processing hemp. The work of cutting, trimming, and curing plants is labor-intensive. Collectives can be instrumental in helping to secure labor and advising on harvesting and drying in particular areas.
Sometimes the simplest guidance from someone can make a huge difference — like a good teacher showing you the tricks to figure out a math problem faster.
The majority of farmers who’ve had successful runs in the hemp industry have made a point to negotiate contracts with buyers or extractors ahead of time, developing relationships early on in the process. Hemp associations will have those local buyer contacts and can save you a lot of legwork.
Working with collectives will further provide you with strength in numbers for bulk selling advantages as well. In an industry dominated by commercial hemp operations that are selling into an already flooded market, cooperatives help level the playing field for community farmers to better compete against major players.
Armed with greater knowledge about hemp farming, and supported by well-informed groups, you can develop an edge that translates into mastering this plant and maximizing your profits.
Got more hemp questions? Don’t hesitate to ask an expert.