Hemp Farming Information
The History of Hemp Farming
The history of hemp traces back at least 10,000 years, and most likely even longer, with references to hemp found in both ancient Chinese and Mesopotamian cultures1, For as long back as hemp has been in recorded history, it has been used as a source for both foods and for industrial fibers. It was used to make things such as rope, paper, and cloth. It was also used for medicinal purposes in ancient Rome.
Hemp has long been known as one of the most versatile crops in the world, and it was one of the most commonly grown crops in America up until the government made it illegal for Americans to grow hemp in 1937 due to the marijuana scare. Until that point, hemp was seen by many as a potential catalyst for a second industrial revolution and even played a huge role in the creation of Ford automobiles.
While hemp is a cannabis plant, it differs from most cannabis plants due to its lowered THC content, typically containing about 0.3% THC. Still, hemp was made illegal along with all other cannabis plants in a blanket prohibition that shook the world. When this happened, Canada came in to fill the void left by the lack of American hemp cultivation and was able to reap some massive benefits that have lasted to this day. Many hemp food products, such as hemp protein and hemp seeds, are still manufactured in Canada and imported to and sold in America.
More recently, America seems to be on the cusp of a new hemp renaissance, as many state governments have overridden the prohibition of industrial hemp and are working diligently to bring America back to its original hemp-fuelled glory days. Although hemp is still federally illegal, stigmas are rapidly decreasing, and many states are firmly standing up for their right to allow people to grow hemp on their soil should they so choose.
Which States Allow Hemp Farming?
Hemp is legal to grow for commercial and industrial purposes on a state level in Wyoming, West Virginia, Vermont, Tennessee, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Oregon, North Dakota, Nevada, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Indiana, and Colorado2. It is very likely that many more states, and eventually the federal government, are going to follow this example in the future.
When this happens, we are in for a massive hemp boom unlike the world has ever seen. Now is the perfect time to get in on the ground floor of this new hemp revolution, and the perfect way to do so is to purchase an order of bulk hemp seeds for growing and start growing your own hemp crops today!
How to Grow and Harvest Hemp
How Is Hemp Planted?
Hemp is an annual plant that does best in slightly warmer weather, although hemp plants can do well in most areas besides the desert and the mountains. The soil should be well-drained and needs to have a high content of organic matter for nutrients. Hemp seeds are usually planted directly into the soil, so there’s no need for transferring. Hemp plants are fairly resistant to drought, although new seedlings may require watering for up to six weeks after planting if the soil isn’t moist enough. Plants will rarely require the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers as they are fairly hardy.
When Should Hemp Be Planted?
The ideal time to plant hemp seeds is usually around the beginning to the middle of the month of April. It is important that hemp seeds are planted after there is no more frost expected for the season, so take this into consideration more than a specific date.
How Long Does Hemp Take to Grow?
Hemp grows to be very tall very fast, and it is typically ready to harvest within four months of planting. This means that the typical season for hemp annually is from April through October.
How is Hemp Harvested?
How you harvest hemp depends on if you are harvesting it for flower, seeds, or fibers. Hemp flower is used to make CBD products, hemp seeds are used for food and beauty products, and hemp fibers are used for industrial purposes.
Harvesting Hemp Flowers
Flowers should bloom somewhere around late September and early October. They are traditionally harvested by hand to preserve the quality of the flower for CBD purposes. Flowers will turn an amber color when they are ready to harvest.
Harvesting Hemp Seeds
Seeds are typically ready to harvest in early October and they will appear around bloomed flowers. Seeds can mature at different times on the same plant, so pay careful attention to when the maximum amount of seeds are ready and that will be the ideal time to harvest. Use a sickle to cut good bunches of seeds down at the stem. Once cut, lay down a tarp and remove the seeds from the bunches.
Harvesting Hemp Fibers
Fibers should be ready to harvest around the time seeds start developing. When it’s time, you’ll cut the entire stalk as close to the base as possible and remove the plant. Bigger commercial operations use a mower, but smaller operations cut stalks individually by hand with a sickle.
Plants are typically left out in the field in a big pile for about a month after they’re cut, as letting the outer layer of the stalk rot slightly allows the fibers to be more easily separated. Once this is done, the plants must be left in a cool and dry area so they can dry out. When they’re nice and dry, a machine called a decorticator is used to separate the fibers.