If you have watched the news and stayed on top of financial advice, then depending on where you live in the country, hemp farming is considered to be one of the most lucrative crops that you can yield. More and more people are getting into hemp planting, not only because they know that hemp seeds are profitable, but because they know that hemp strains like CBD can help so many people and change the way we treat conditions. It was a long struggle, but hemp and CBD strains are not entirely legal for both grown and sell anywhere in the country, which has turned this crop into a billion-dollar industry.
If growing hemp sounds like an industry that you may be interested in joining whether you are planning on growing hemp for its grain, its fibers, its beneficial seeds, or to make CBD oils out of it, you will need to know what to do from putting the seeds down in the ground to knowing when and how the hemp be harvested. Below is an extensive guide to learning everything you need to know about how to grow hemp from the best hemp seeds to buy to know when its time for hemp is harvested.
What Conditions does hemp best grow under
Many people think that hemp farming can only be done in certain types of climates or environments in the world. However, hemp seeds and their plants can thrive in almost every climate imaginable.
- You can plant them in sweltering desert climates or chose to start your hemp planting during the winter on the very top of a cold mountain. It can grow in these extreme climates and do just fine; however, there are some climates in which it thrives the very best.
- Warm climates with soil that drains well and is full of organic materials are going to be the best type of place to grow your new hemp plant so that it gets big and thrives. It is important to note that you should avoid ground that is very wet all of the time or that gets a ton of heavy rain.
Most experts advise that before you cultivate or harvest your crop, you get your soil tested. When you get the soil tested, you want to check for a few key things that you do not want to be present in your soil. You want to make sure that the levels of elemental sulfur, potassium sulfate, and rock phosphates are not too high. It is best to do these tests in the late fall months or the very early spring months. Hemp has a growing cycle that is about 108 to 120 days long, in which the plant should grow at a relatively stable rate.
How to grow (or sow) your seeds
As with any crop that you decide to try your hand at growing, tilling your soil before you put your seeds down into it is a significant step that should not be forgotten or ignored. This is especially important because there are no herbicides that are specifically known to be safe for hemp.
- The space that you plant your seeds should be a bed that has firm soil, not too loose, and soil that is very shallow as the seeds do not grow in soil that is too deep.
- When you plant them, it is typically recommended that you sow them in the area that they are going to stay for their entire lifetime. There are many species of plants that can be planted into pots as a seed and transferred to the soil once they grow and take root. The hemp plant is not one of those. They will do best in soil that is not cold, nor should it be planted in soil that is as hot as it would be during mid-summer months.
- The soil should be an average of at least 50 degrees or up to about 70; this would mean that planting between May and June would be the perfect time to sow your seeds. Sowing them at this time of year will ensure that they germinate quickly and begin to push out of the seed and grow into a real plant faster and with a higher chance of yielding a good crop.
- When you are starting your first crop, it may be wise to find a more established farm and learn how they grow their crops. Do a Google search for “find hemp farm near me” and take a little field trip to learn tips from people with more experience. They will show you, first, the best hemp seeds to buy, and then explain how to put them in the soil. When planting your seeds, you should put them very close together, no more than four inches apart from each other. You will then bury them about half an inch to 3/4ths of an inch deep.
- While you can plant your seeds by hand, depending on the size of your growing space and how much of a crop you are hoping to harvest, doing it by this method can take days, if not weeks, to accomplish. Instead, you can get conventional seeding equipment or invest in a grain drill or something like a corn planter to do it for you.
Once you have the seeds planted at the right depth and spaced apart from one another well enough, you should gently roll the tilled soil back over the seeds and pack it in tightly.
How to tend to your crops once the seeds are planted
Once you have your soil tilled and seeds planted as they should be, then it is time to start tending to your crop. Tending to your hemp plants does not begin when your seeds bud and start to sprout out of the ground, it starts as soon as the seeds hit the soil. It is essential to begin irrigating your seeds sufficiently, especially for the first six weeks that they are in the ground. As stated before, hemp plants can grow in nearly every climate imaginable, including very dry climates. This means that they can tolerate drought reasonably well, but if you do not water them like they need to be in the first six weeks, not all of them may survive. They may be tolerant, but they will end up being fragile and sensitive to dryness in the long run.
Know which pesticides are safe and which ones are not wise to use on your hemp
Hemp plants are not the same as others, they cannot stand all of the pesticides that other plants can, and there are also regulations put on the hemp industry by federal sources that say which they can use and which they can not. When you are on your field trip to find a hemp farm near me, it is essential to take time and ask them about your pesticide regulations that are in place in your area. You can also take time before planting your hemp and look at the National Pesticide Center to get a full list of the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides that are permitted in your area by the federal government as well as your state’s local government.
How you can grow hemp organically and why you should consider it
Hemp plants are one of the best plants to grow organically. It does not require a bunch of extra nutrition or additives for it to grow amply and healthily. Hemp and CBD strains are very durable and robust plants, which means that they are very resistant to succumbing to things like pests and diseases. This means they do not need any extra pesticides to help them fight these things off.
- Hemp plants also grow at a rapid rate when they are in a pleasant climate, healthy tilled soil, and maintained properly. Since they grow so quickly on their own without help, it means that they can typically outgrow the weeds that grow around it. This means that that you do not have to spend a lot of time weeding and cultivating the soil area by hand or putting any weed killer on it.
- With other organic crops that are grown, you have to spend a lot of time weeding the area by hand as those crops can easily be choked out by weeds. Hemp growing is very easy to do organically, and more people are likely to buy the yields from crops that are organic, which means a bigger payout for you in the end.
What farm equipment do you need to use to grow your crop
Starting a crop is easy because you do not need special equipment for hemp farming to get started. Hemp growing can be done, for the most part, by the gardening tools that you probably already have in your shed. However, the one exception of this rule is when you grow hemp to use it for its fibers. Fiber has to be processed differently than any other part of the hemp plant, which means you will need special machinery to do so.
- Instead of going out and spending hundreds of dollars on machinery that you may not even need to contact other farmers and find out what they can or cannot live without when it comes to taking care of harvesting their crops.
- If you are growing your hemp crops to yield fibers but do not have the money to get the special machinery necessary to do so, you can always contact local companies who can process the raw materials for you.
When and how to harvest your hemp crops
- After you have planted your hemp seeds, you should wait for an estimated ninety to one hundred days. This is the amount of time that it typically takes for your plant to mature fully. As this time gets closer and closer, you will start to see the heads of your seeds begin to mature more and more from the bottom upwards.
- The seed will grow bracts on it, which will be the telling sign that it is fully matured and ready to be harvested. As stated above, you do not need any special farming equipment to harvest your hemp plants. Your standard combine can do the job just fine as long as it is turned to the canola or wheat harvesting settings.
Typically, if the seeds are planted and cultivated the right way, you can expect to yield about 1,000 pounds of hemp per acre. However, if your crop is entirely organically grown, you can expect to grow closer to about 5000 pounds of hemp per acre that you plant.
How to store and process your harvested hemp
Once your fully matured hemp has been harvested, you should then clean it off so that all of the foreign materials come off of the grain. You then get ready to store it away, making sure that it is adequately aerated so that it does not go wrong. Dry the hemp out to where it has about 9% of moisture left, which will keep the seeds hemp from spoiling while simultaneously not allowing the seeds to crack.
How much water does an acre of hemp need?
- Hemp needs about 20-30 inches of water per growing period. Often, rainfall will suffice, though there will be periods where you will have to do hand irrigation to help supplement.
Is hemp annual or perennial?
- hemp is a yearly crop
How much does one hemp plant weigh?
- one bushel of hemp will weigh about 44 pounds and yields roughly 27,000 seeds per pound
What is the best climate for growing a crop?
- Hemp is very tolerant to most climates but prefers a mild climate where it rains at least 35-30 inches every year.
How much is a ton of hemp worth?
- one ton of hemp fibers go for about $260 per ton while hemp grain sells for $300-$350 per ton
How many acres do you need for a farm?
- You should plant at least 10-15 acres of hemp to be considered a farm
How often can hemp be harvested?
- You can harvest your hemp every 90-120 days after planting the seeds
When do you know that you should harvest the seeds?
- You know that your hemp seed is ready to harvest once the seed begins to shatter.
What are the best seeds to buy?
- Organic raw seeds,
- Manitoba harvest seeds,
- hulled hemp seed hearts,
- Navitas, and Just Hemp Foods seeds
How do I find a hemp farm near me?
- You can use Google to find a legal, registered hemp farm near you
It takes a lot of work, and a lot of hands-on effort to get your hemp farm started the right way. While you will certainly have to put in a lot of elbow grease on the field to get it started, you will also have to do a lot of research off the field to learn all of the ins and outs that it takes to get your new farm up and running. As long as you do your research, take time to learn from others, and don’t shy away from getting your hands dirty, then you can end up with a beautifully grown hemp farm in no time.