Now more than ever, hemp farms have been popping up all over the United States. Do you want to jump on the trend and start your own hemp farm? Here are the answers to a few of your most asked questions about the rapidly growing hemp business.
Is it legal to grow hemp?
For a long time, farmers were prevented from growing hemp on a bigger scale. However, that all changed in recent years. Today 35 states have legalized the cultivation of hemp. The fist commercial planting occurred across a 55-acre crop in 2013 by Colorado farmer Ryan Loflin. This was the first crop harvested legally and commercially since 1957. Although hemp has been clear to grow, it is still a minor crop. But it is expanding. Rapidly. In 2016 there were less than 10,000 acres grown, a year later that number more than doubled to 26,000 acres.
Why choose hemp as a crop?
Compared to other crops grown on an industrial scale, hemp is more eco-friendly. The plant has over 25,000 uses and is much easier to take of and maintain. Compared to corn, hemp requires less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. It is an incredibly sustainable crop.
What environmental conditions are the most ideal for growing hemp?
You will find that hemp thrives in most areas throughout the United States. The only two places that the plant doesn’t preform well in is, in desert conditions and areas of high elevation like mountains. Where you will find that hemp thrives the most in is in warm weather and where soils are rich in organic matter and that are well-drained.
What are the biggest challenges when growing hemp?
Some may be under the impression that growing hemp is just as easy as growing any other plant. However, managing a hemp farm presents its own challenges, especially if you plan to run a business.
You need a lot of acreage.
If you plan to keep your hemp farm small, you may want to think again. For a hemp farm to be truly profitable, you need at least 50 acres of land. With more land, you will mostly likely have to hire a few helping hands.
Finding seeds isn’t easy.
Hemp farmers need to plant with seeds that have a low THC content, but the seed industry is having hard time keeping up with demand. On top of that, since hemp isn’t federally legal, you may run into a few legal issues when shipping seeds across state boarders.
There is a lot of “red tape”.
Just because hemp is legal to grow does not mean the process is simple. Before you can legally grow it, you have to fill out paperwork in order to receive a state licensing. Your hemp crops may also be subjected to testing to see if they are below a threshold for THC. If your crop fails the test, your entire crop may be destroyed.