With the passage of the 2018 Agricultural Act or Farm Bill and the growing demand for hemp products, more farmers are seeing hemp farming as a lucrative industry. However, going into this field entails an understanding of its legalities and requires farmers to get acquainted with agricultural methods that can optimize production.
Here are some of the popular questions concerning hemp farming.
1. What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana may look and smell the same as both of them are Cannabis plants. However, they are actually cultivated differently and have different uses and applications.
The main difference between the two is their chemical makeup. Hemp has less than 0.3% THC (the component said to cause the “high” that marijuana smokers experience) while marijuana has 5% to 35% THC content. Once you start farming, the THC component in your plants will be tested to check if you are indeed following the guidelines in hemp farming.
2. How can I get a hemp growing license in my state?
Despite the 2018 Farm Bill, growing hemp is still not as easy as growing regular crops like soybeans or corn. There are strict requirements that you need to comply with, such as the mandatory criminal background check. You also have to provide the GPS coordinates and the size of your prefered farm location.
For a complete list of license requirements (which slightly differ from one state to another), you need to contact your state’s Department of Agriculture.
3. What is the best soil to grow hemp?
Generally, hemp can survive in any type of soil. But, if you want it to thrive and bring more profit for you, you should choose soil that is loose or well-aerated. The soil should also be rich in organic matter and slightly alkaline at pH levels within 6.5 to 7.5.
4 Where can I sell industrial hemp?
Before you venture into farming, you should first have an idea as to where you can sell hemp biomass. Ideally, you should be able to find a direct buyer. But, if you are new in the industry, you can contact an expert hemp broker who can help you navigate the hemp buying and selling networks.
5. How much profit can I make per acre of hemp farm?
When it comes to hemp farming, the profit is largely dependent on the type of hemp products that you want to produce. There are three types to choose from: grain, fiber and CBD.
CBD is the most lucrative among the three, as you can possibly profit around $2,500 up to $70,000 per acre. Your actual earnings will depend on several factors, such as the quality of your hemp extract and the type of cultivation method that you will use.
The Bottom Line
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Hemp farming is a promising industry and can be very profitable if done the right way. If you are planning to join the bandwagon, the first step to take is to get in touch with your local agriculture authorities or the hemp grower contacts in your area.
While the 2018 Farm Bill allows the cultivation of hemp plants and legalizes the transfer of hemp-derived products across states, there are still restrictions that farmers need to be aware of. Most of these restrictions are at the state level, hence coordinating with state authorities will ensure that you won’t go against their guidelines. Furthermore, just like in farming other crops, hemp farming might also have good and bad harvest seasons, so proper preparation is a must.