At a period when good news about agriculture is scarce, hemp has given Leigh Barry hope. This Minnesota farmer’s decision to grow hemp on an otherwise soybean/alfalfa/corn operation started about 36 months ago. 2009 was his first lesson on how to grow cbd strains.
Sourced from hemp, CBD is expected to be a $23 billion industry by the year 2023, based on studies conducted by Brightfield Group on the Landscape of Hemp Cultivation. At a farm level, this study suggests that CBD is capable of producing more than $40,000 in revenue per acre (based on yield and quality).
How To Grow CBD Strains Correctly!
While there is a lot of uncertainty about this nascent sector, the potential of large returns have enticed some growers into giving it a shot – and a lot of them are fully committing to the change. Between 2018 and 2019, the amount of acres that were grown purposely for CBD rose from approximately 70 to slightly over 5600, and that is just in Minnesota!
Originally, Barry planned on planting about 40 acres (which amounts to approximately 41,000 different plants). However, he opted for a more conservative approach, scaling that number down to about 6 acres (which amounts to approximately 6150 plants).
Learn From Your Mistakes
As they progressed, Barry decided to concentrate on the ways of going about extracting hemp and marketing it. In the meantime, VanOverbeke spent a number of months researching ways of growing it.
To get a better idea of what is required for hemp growth, the duo spent the first 12 months learning from their mistakes. Barry said there was a lot to learn about the growth of this plant, whether it involved nutrition, oil extraction, seed choices, or something else of relevance.
Here are several lessons both VanOverbeke and Barry learned on how to grow cbd strains.
Sprouting Hemp Seeds
There are a couple of seed strains that are feminized – that were selected for the 2019 growing season. Here’s link to some hemp seeds available.
The seeds cost about $1.50 for each one. VanOverbeke and Barry began planting them on the latter’s farm indoors. Once they became ready for transplanting, the plants were taken outside each day in order for them to acclimate.
Since they decided to work with industry names that were trusted, the seed selection’s quality was quite high. There were 6150 plants in total, and only three of them ended up being true males.
Looking ahead to 2020, VanOverbeke and Barry intend to sprout hemp seeds that are well known in conjunction with ones grown in 2019.
Preparing a Hemp Field Farm
The quartet of fields selected for hemp growth was sitting idle. As such, Barry had a lot of work to do during the spring in order to prep the ground. Types of soil varied from heavy to light, but they all had a pH within the recommended range (between 6 and 7.5).
Since he won’t be busting sod during the spring this year, Barry appears to be ahead of schedule in contrast to how things were at this time last year (with seedbed prep, specifically).
Barry opted to have the hemp field farm grown the way tobacco gets grown. With the assistance of a berm maker tool, square-shouldered berms were produced. Plastic was laid on top of them. Drip irrigation was laid beneath everything in a single pass.
1025 plants per each acre is what Barry was left with, give or take. The plants were spaced at least 51 inches away from one another in rows. Between each row was a space of 10 feet.
To create some type of cover crop, teff grass had been planted between each row in order to choke weeds out. This provided an environment that was sustainable for the following year’s rotation of crops.
Accept Each Plant’s Uniqueness
You can expect non-auto-flowering strains to take between 100 and 120 days to mature for harvest. Sunlight, nutrients, and water are vital for hemp growth.
Since water is naturally shed by the berm – it – in addition to loamier soils chosen for grow sites – help minimize the chances of developing wet feet.
Hemp plants are very fond of heat (sunshine), and as such, must be positioned in a place where they’ll get optimal sunlight. This is tip important in learning how to grow cbd strains.
Plants are fed products that are organic, as chosen by the protocol VanOverbeke implemented. They included biologicals, humic acids, kelp, and fish. They were also fed a Vivid Life Sciences’ product (LifeForce 3-2-2) recommended by Teresa Bayrer, a former colleague of hers.
As the duo tirelessly worked to provide plants everything they required, the ground – which was once idle – presented them with several challenges.
Because organic matter was worked under during the spring, the plants struggled from a tie-up of nutrients.
A different location – one that cattle used to live on years ago – produced a very good crop. Though it was not perfect, VanOverbeke felt like the area had just the right balance of sunlight, nutrition, and water, creating a microclimate that plants thrived in.
Before long, it became quite apparent which sites did better than others.
Since VanOverbeke generally works with crops that have been genetically modified, she scouted for perfection, replication, and consistency in each plant.
A discussion with a West Coast consultant made VanOverbeke see that – as far as plant genetics went – hers had reached their optimal wildness and rawness.
This year was more about the survival of plants, and she believes next year’s focus will be on precision nutrition.
Look For Males
Male pollen is capable of traveling as far as 6 miles. One male is capable of ruining a whole acre. This is an important aspect on how to grow cbd strains.
As per what was seen the prior year, a rotation of 72 hours is what all sexting plants must be on. This must continue until each female is confirmed, and all male imposters or hermaphrodites are eliminated.
Regularly Test Your THC Levels
Within the first month of harvest, every grow site will be sampled and inspected by the MDA (Minnesota Department Of Agriculture). For a homogenized sample, an inspector will randomly choose 30 different plants in each field, cut 2 inches off the top of a female flower, then place their cuttings in a bag. 0.17% is what Barry’s greatest number was.
Although Barry’s low numbers can be attributed to a cool, late growing season, most growers in the state had an average of 0.29%. 13% of the MDA’s 581 samples that were collected exceeded a threshold of 0.3%.
Seed selection, nitrogen, and water are all important aspects of THC level management when considering how to grow cbd strains.
Handle Your Plants Carefully
Things that are done on Barry’s farm are driven by efficiency, sustainability, and profitability.
The process of harvesting, which started on the 19th of September, was modified from on-site wet bucking, to the cutting down of plants, to bucking and hanging them dry as harvesting progressed. The duo determined through trial and error what seemed to be most efficient.
Two forms of equipment that were used during the process of harvesting came from Triminator’s product line (www.thetriminator.com).
Much like with corn, a vital element of processing flower involves extracting moisture.
They intend to have the main buds wet-bucked from plants in their fields, then return the buds to their farm so they can dry. From there, a Kirpy CBD Harvester will be used to cut the plant from the base, then transport it to a trailer before it is hung dry.
Extractors – Finding Hemp Buyers
For over 30 days, Barry looked at a bunch of different procedures and processes. Instead of selling the biomass, Barry transformed the crop and turned it into something more marketable for hemp buyers.
The extractor ended up being a worthwhile investment. While the hemp sector is facing challenges with a lacking infrastructure – one that is necessary to have hemp plants transformed into raw products that have been extracted and refined.
The conversion to crude oil bought Barry some more time as well.
Barry says that raw products must be stored in facilities that are cool and dry if they are to be held on to.
Keep Your Eye On The Hemp Market
Promoting a product isn’t an overnight process. There are plenty of changes regularly taking place on the market.
According to Barry, several dynamics contribute to a price point, which includes the extraction method, profile quality, and if a product is (or isn’t) refined.
Keep A Journal For Success
Right from the start, VanOverbeke has been chronicling each step of the hemp-growing adventure.
This is why she had a binder filled with just about everything that she learned from people within the industry. It contained self-taken notes, books, and online resources. The information she collected helped VanOverbeke produce an indoor/outdoor protocol of her own, which covers just about the entire growing season – right up to the extraction.
Also, she created a file online, one that is shared with Barry to chronicle their successes, failures, and notes of things to be mindful of.
By the time their very first year had ended, the duo had a resource that was invaluable.
Learn How To Finance Your Crops
An absence of completion regulations and synergy has raised concerns among those in the financial services industry, as processors and growers approach lenders for funding.
At the beginning of 2019, police in Idaho State had confiscated a shipment of industrial hemp going to Colorado from Oregon. Because the USDA hadn’t yet approved the production plan, it was not protected as part of the interstate’s commerce provisions (via 2018’s Farm Bill). Likewise, a shipment of hemp that was traveling to Minnesota from Colorado was seized during the summer of 2019.
This is a significant problem for lenders. Red flags are also raised when bottleneck processing rumors are factored in.
Maintaining detailed records will continue to be paramount as the hemp sector progresses.