By Justin Pullin
By 2025, experts project the industrial hemp market will be worth 26.6 billion U.S. dollars.
Needless to say…
If you’re getting into the hemp game, you’ve made a good choice.
I’m going to arm you with the knowledge you need to understand what you’re working with.
Because if you’re willing to take calculated risks, hemp farming can be a solid bet for raking in profits.
And that’s what we’re all looking for, right?
I’m not gonna pretend that 2019 wasn’t rough.
Between challenging marketing conditions and a steep learning curve, many farmers struggled to complete their harvests from seed to sale.
And a lot of the farmers who rushed into hemp pulled out just as quickly.
Hemp Farming Shows Tremendous Promise for the Future
If you’re reading this, then you’re someone who sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
Someone willing to learn and put in the work necessary to succeed…
Which means you’re already in a great position to make it as a hemp farmer.
I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.
You see, my team and I have been growing cannabis for years.
Our CEO, BigMike, started his first cannabis grow back in 1983.
Now, was it easy?
In fact, he readily admits that he killed his first crop.
No doubt, it took a whole lot of grit and determination to persevere past those initial failures.
However, there was a tremendous payoff for the effort he put in.
Since planting his first seed, BigMike’s gone on to launch Advanced Nutrients —the No. 1 cannabis fertilizer company in the world.
He introduced more than 53 innovations to the world of cannabis cultivation.
And growers in 107 countries feed their plants his nutrients.
Certainly, his success has been an inspiration for hundreds of thousands of growers looking to make it in this industry.
Wealth alone wouldn’t have been enough to revolutionize the cannabis industry the way BigMike has.
Because the one thing he’s instilled in our team is a mission much bigger than money:
A mission to make cannabis an acceptable and everyday part of healing humanity.
So when the Farm Bill passed, we knew we had a huge opportunity to work towards this goal.
Now, we get the chance to work with people like you . . .
We get to lend our expertise to new farmers just discovering the miraculous nature of this plant.
And together, we’ve got more momentum than ever before.
I know it might seem like a beast right now.
But once you’re prepared –and we’ll get you there– I’m betting you’ll fall in love with it.
The same way BigMike did.
And the same way I have.
The reality is, there’s a lot of promise for eager farmers getting into hemp…
More than just a boatload of profit…
You’ve got an unprecedented opportunity to make history.
Sure, there’s a long road ahead of us here.
But no change as monumental as the one you’re making can happen overnight.
Okay, so what do you need to know about hemp to start on the path to success?
First, let’s take a step back ten thousand years.
Understanding Hemp: A Brief History of a 10,000-Year-Old Plant
Since the Farm Bill passed in 2018, hemp’s become the most promising new crop in agriculture.
In reality, though, this plant’s history goes back ten thousand years.
Because here’s the thing…
Ancient civilizations always understood the multi-purpose power behind the hemp plant.
China started cultivating hemp 6,000 years ago.
France, and a few other European countries, have been farming hemp for 700 years.
Buddhist texts dating back to 2,000 AD are written on hemp paper.
And civilizations have farmed hemp for its medicinal properties for centuries.
It was a staple in America before the first Puritans landed on Plymouth rock.
And it was the first government-subsidized crop in Canada.
So what happened?
Why did a plant with so much practical and therapeutic value get banned from society?
Like so many things, it all comes down to politics.
You see, 80 years ago, hemp was poised for great success.
In a February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics (written the previous year), experts said hemp was on the threshold of becoming “the billion-dollar crop.”
In 1938, hemp was on the verge of the same success we’re seeing today . . .
Nearly a century later.
And newspaper and lumber industry tycoons felt threatened by hemp’s potential.
Pair that with companies whose money was on synthetic textiles –a prime hemp competitor–and you get a whole lot of people lobbying against the hemp plant.
And the lobbying worked.
In 1937, the government started raising taxes on hemp. Then they banned it entirely the very same year.
The prohibition of hemp was a power play.
And now that it’s legal again, many farmers are still trying to figure out how this plant works.
We’re here to educate and answer some of the most pressing questions about hemp farming, including…
How Do You Distinguish Between Hemp and Cannabis?
Hemp is the technical term for cannabis plants that produce less than 0.3% THC.
Other variations of the cannabis plant are grown for their psychotropic effects, which requires more than 0.3% THC.
Now, let’s take it a step further.
While these distinctions may help from a legal standpoint, they’re scientifically faulty…
Because categorizing the plant as “hemp” v. “cannabis” gives a relatively skewed perspective.
You see, there are three different species of plants within the cannabis genus:
Cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis.
So when we refer to cannabis as hemp or cannabis, we’re not really distinguishing between different plants.
We’re only making a distinction between the amount of THC the plant produces.
Now, there are key differences in how you approach the cultivation of each.
And when you’re farming hemp, you’ve got to break it down again:
The Difference Between Farming Hemp for CBD v. Hemp for Fiber
The fact is, if you’re growing industrial hemp for fiber, you’re in for an easier time than if you’re growing hemp for CBD.
However, you still need a solid infrastructure in place to support harvesting, processing, and transportation.
Make sure you’ve got a processor in place, trust the seed source, and have the right equipment on your farm.
And if you’re used to farming other crops, ensuring these things are in place is par for the course.
Now, hemp farming for CBD is a whole different story.
Because here’s the thing…
Producing CBD requires a much greater amount of labor than seed and fiber.
And because of regulations, you’ll need to make sure your end-product has less than 0.3% THC–or your crop will be destroyed.
What’s more, CBD-rich hemp plants are all female.
When male plants arise, they threaten to pollinate your female plants. This forces them into seed production mode –and out of CBD-production mode.
So you’ll have to be vigilant about making sure no male plants make it into your field.
And another thing to consider…
You Must Establish the Ideal Environment for Boosting CBD
Now, we can’t control Mother Nature…
Which no doubt poses challenges for us farmers.
There are, however, certain things you can do to optimize your environment for hemp:
First, you’ll want to master soil conditions.
Hemp grows best in soils with a pH level of 6 or higher. Make sure the soil’s well-aerated to make room for oxygen and water penetration.
You see, soil moisture is crucial for germinating seeds and nourishing young plants in the vegetative stage.
If your roots can’t soak up enough water, it can lead to crop damage.
You’ll also do the best hemp farming in a mild climate with humidity, and 25-30 inches of annual rainfall.
A full sky of sunshine and 60-degree weather will do your plants good.
Next, make sure you’ve got adequate airflow.
This will help to prevent mold and mildew from destroying your crops.
If you’re farming hemp outdoors, allow 4-7 inches between each plant, and 2-4 feet between each row.
A Few Bonus Tips for a Profitable Hemp Season
Some additional things to keep in mind for a successful hemp season:
- Get Quality Seeds: Don’t let shady hemp seed sellers ruin your potential. Make sure you’re working with someone you can trust. If you’re farming hemp for CBD, you must invest in seeds with the best genetics for cannabidiol.
- Take Detailed Notes: The best way to turn on-the-go learning into structured, methodical steps for success? Record everything about your hemp season from seed to sale.
- Join a Hemp Association: When it comes to hemp, collaboration outweighs competition any day. Team up with other farmers to strengthen your harvest and appeal to buyers.
- Use a Hemp-Specific Fertilizer: Hemp’s nothing like corn or soy. So you don’t want to put your plants on the same diet they’d eat. Advanced Hemp is the only fertilizer made to match the needs of your plant’s genome… And it’s backed by 21 years of scientific research.
- Finetune Harvesting Techniques: Make sure to test your hemp regularly for THC levels, so you can avoid hot hemp come harvest time.
Ready for a deep dive on how to make hemp your most profitable crop? Read more here.
There’s no doubt about it:
Hemp farmers are the trailblazers we need to level up our society and create the world we want to see.
I’m grateful you’re choosing to do your part.
Now, remember, there’s support out there for you.
Hemp solutions backed by science.
And growers who’ve overseen the cultivation of millions of CBD-rich plants long before the Farm Bill passed.
Our Advanced Hemp Team will be in lockstep with you throughout your harvest…
And if you have any questions, you can call us anytime at 971-979-4367 (HEMP).