Since hemp was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill, people have become more interested in growing for CBD and hemp biomass production. Read some of our previous articles on how to farm for cbd production and choosing the best cbd strains.
One of the most important stages of CBD production is harvesting crops for hemp biomass. Molds and mildews will decrease the value of your crops, so timing is of the essence. There are several things that hemp growers should monitor. For instance, if the trichomes from your hemp flower shift from bright white to a dull white, harvest is right around the corner.
CBD hemp farmers should also conduct weekly testing of CBD content so they’re aware of when to harvest. A small 1% difference in CBD can result in a substantial dollar amount. Also, testing will let you know when you are getting close the 0.3% legal limit so you’re not harvesting hot crops.
Weather and Hemp Biomass
Depending on which part of the country you reside, weather will be a key factor in determining when to harvest. For example, harvest season runs parallel to the hurricane season. It will be much easier for growers to dry and cure their hemp biomass before the arrival of a big storm.
Plan Your Labor For Harvesting
Labor is another factor to consider when harvesting for hemp biomass, since adequate labor is critical. If you are cutting the stalk with a machete and loading the hemp biomass, this will take a lot of time and labor. There are farmers who have suffered significant losses because they weren’t able to harvest crops in time. Planning your labor requirement before harvesting is important, especially to first time growers. We recommend starting with less than 10 acres and then scaling once you have a proven method.
Drying and Curing Hemp Biomass
As soon as the hemp is harvested, it should be moved to a drying facility immediately. Most drying facilities should be out of direct sunlight, well-ventilated, and have a secure rooftop. Some growers will setup fans and have them blowing air since ventilation is a key factor in drying hemp. The best temperatures for drying/curing hemp are 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit and around 60% humidity. A slow drying process with high amounts of airflow is the best way to cure hemp while producing a superior quality material in both CBD and terpene profile – resulting in higher profits.
Understanding the size of the drying facility is important so you don’t overfill your storage capacity. For example, some growers are able to dry 1 acre of plants in 3 days using a 800 sq ft facility. Other growers are able to dry 1.5 acres in a 2500 sq ft barn. Your facility requirements will vary depending on the size of your farm and resources available.
Of the common methods of drying is to hang entire plants upside down using wires in a drying barn. However, those plants will start to droop down creating an umbrella shape. This results in reduced air flow to the entire hemp plants causing mold and mildew. We would recommend growers to break entire plants into individual branches, and then hanging them to dry. This will help reduce the formation of mold and mildew.
If you’re looking for hemp biomass or need help selling your biomass, contact us. P : 916-893-4262 E: [email protected]