Let’s start with the obvious. What exactly is hemp anyway? Well, this plant belongs to the same family of plants as marijuana and cannabis. What makes it different is the low concentrations of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol – which happens to be the psychoactive compound. Any cannabis strain that carries less than 0.3% THC is identified as hemp.
Hemp is a remarkable crop due to the sheer fact that everything from its seeds to the leaves to the fiber and everything in between can be used for a diverse number of applications and products. Hemp is used for making industrial material, paper, clothing, food, health products, and so much more.
In addition to being a versatile crop, it’s also a sustainable, low-maintenance, and highly tolerant demanding little input. In exchange, it produces a ton of yield. In comparison with other mainstream crops, this one is a definite winner. The best thing is that it can grow practically in kinds of weather conditions and it is also thought to improve the soil. It does so by increasing the level of CO2 and removing toxic substances.
Hemp farming is certainly in its infancy and the nation is yet to figure out exactly how the future of this crop looks like before they can come up with concrete steps to ensure profitable and predictable farming on a large scale.
Although there are some ground regulations, the FDA and the USDA are yet to come up with full-fledged guidelines and rules for hemp farming. Of course, the states will need to figure out their own processes and policies as well.
Since it has close ties with marijuana which has always been controversial, it might make for some tricky business. However, it is natural that the nation will have to go through some errors and trials to finally have the best practices in place.
What We Can Expect in the Future?
● Growth Projections
Experts feel that the hemp acres are likely to increase at a yearly rate of roughly 75% through to the year 2023. This roughly translates to around 2.7 million acres of plantation.
What does traceability mean? Well, it’s the ability to track the food back to its origin or the fields where it came from. Traceability is becoming a huge deal in the farming aspect since more and more consumers are showing interest in knowing where their food came from. Clearly, traceability will be all the more important with hemp due to its close ties with marijuana.
It will be essential for farmers to report on the specificities of hemp production in order to become a successful grower. This is something to be expected more of in the future; the tools to encourage traceability of hemp and hemp products. For more information on hemp farming practices, visit The Weed Center.
Like any other new industry, hemp farming won’t be without its fair share of challenges. To start with, there’s the seeming challenge of infrastructure to build around it once the crop has matured for storage purposes.
However, since hemp has been descheduled, the USDA has opened a lot of doors for funding and value-added grants to have good infrastructure in place. On top of that, there’s a lot of growing interest from the private sector to offer to fund.
Another challenge is that of having so much of this crop that the prices actually end-up going low due to swamp in demand. Let’s not forget that ensuring THC levels are below the legal requirement is a challenge of its own.
It needs thorough testing to make sure the crop doesn’t exceed the legal THC levels. Harvesting at the right time is paramount to make sure you don’t end up with a crop that doesn’t match the FDA guidelines which would render the entire harvest useless.
Growing Hemp Plants for CBD Oil
CBD oil is famous for offering a host of medicinal and mental health benefits from pain management, relaxation, fighting inflammation, and whatnot. This oil comes from the buds and flowers of hemp.
Growing hemp for CBD oil is a labor-intensive process since you have to meticulously pluck just the right parts for processing. However, the margin for profit is huge. Roughly you can expect around $15,000 worth of returns per acre of coverage.
How Can a Grower Get into the Business of Hemp Farming?
First of all, you would need to check out the local state guidelines to see if hemp farming is legal or not. All states except nine have legalized hemp farming. However, thanks to the Farm Bill 2018 more leniency is to be expected in terms of hemp farming nationwide.
After that, you would need to obtain a license. Due to the possible complications in the process, it is best to work with a lawyer before applying.
A couple of years ago, getting the paperwork and applying for funding might have been a challenge. But in the light of recent improvements such as the legalization of hemp and the introduction of Farm Bill, farmers get to enjoy a lot of relaxation and leniency to get the resources they need.
Hemp certain holds a lot of potential. Being such a versatile crop, the country definitely needs more avenues that support its farming. The future for hemp farming is surely bright and these are good times to invest in it; in case you’ve been contemplating this decision.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.