Farmers who are planning to grow hemp this year to overcome low corn and soybean prices, should beware that it is nothing like they have ever done before. That’s what Stu Ellis found out when he recently visited with a Colorado farmer raising 1,000 acres of it….
The main costs in hemp production will be in seed, says Steve Turetsky, unless you have a vegetable transplanter to grow pre-germinated plants.
A CBD hemp seed is going to be $1 per seed. I know that sounds crazy, you’re raising an eyebrow, right? So 50 cents to a $1 per seed and $1 per seed is about average. So when you are talking about plant spacing and plants per acre you are talking about 1800 and 3600 plants per acre. Most people are going to be planting clones or seedlings. So most people are using things like beneficial bugs and organic practices to do a lot of control. Things like drip tape and plastic to keep weed control down because this crop on the CBD side is going to be planted in 3X3 or 4X4 so it is not planted centimeters apart like you would with corn so what that allows for is a lot of weed growth in between. Like I said, its pretty hardy. It doesn’t need a ton of fertilizer. You can put N down in the field and the plants will eat that but pretty much they can grow on native soil of any type. A lot of people, a lot of processors, the way you are going to monetize the crop easily is utilizing organic practices. It looks like there is a lot of money to be made and there definitely is. It is a hot commodity. The demand is skyrocketing. But there are a lot of unknowns. The scaling is tough. There is a lot of challenges and it is an expensive thing to do, so make sure you take your time. Start small. Go slow. And methodically learn how to grow hemp on an agricultural level.
That’s our report from the farm. I’m stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.