We’re seeing many farmers and growers having trouble navigating the best course of action for their hemp crops this year. This isn’t too surprising, considering how the fast-changing hemp industry is uniquely compounded with other, more widely-shared concerns for the year ahead: The challenges we as a society are facing… our worries for our friends on the front lines of healthcare… the forced separation from our friends and loved ones… the loss of routine… unbelievably, our kids’ screen-time trending even higher. And then word arrives of the passing of Charlotte Figi, the namesake of Charlotte’s Web, just days after the FDA announced the descheduling of GW Pharmaceutical’s CBD-based anti-seizure medication Epidiolex.
The emotional swings are relentless. What are we to do?
One thing we have done at HNP is focus our energies on hemp grower education — both for ourselves and for our hemp grower friends and customers. The preparation and execution of our recent hemp webinar, Hemp in the Rockies, while no replacement for the energy of the postponed NoCo Hemp Expo, created structure for our staff and partners, and another opportunity for members of the hemp community to benefit from the perspective of individuals and organizations that are shaping the future of the hemp industry. We felt we had a great line-up of speakers, and are pleased to provide access to the slides and a recording on our website.
Here are what we felt were some of the key learnings from this hemp educational event:
- Serious hemp growers are out there. They’re being selective (a good thing) but they’re quietly putting their 2020 hemp growing plans in place.
- Hemp prices are holding steady from the formulator’s perspective. Demand appears to be growing for the minor cannabinoids; demand for quality hemp is growing.
- As hemp growing operations increase in scale, attention is pivoting to autoflower varieties. For a variety of reasons – smaller stems, greater uniformity, predictable harvest windows – autoflower lends itself to mechanical harvesting at scale. Smaller plants are compensated for with greater planting density. More plants per acre means a denser canopy faster and helps keep weed pressure down. Early harvests help dodge pollination risk. And importantly, a consistent maturation cycle keeps THC levels in check and helps ensure you harvest a compliant hemp crop.
- Conventional agronomic practices are being applied to hemp. In genetics, companies like Beacon Seed have used hybridization to breed stronger, more pest-resistant hemp plants that are stable across a large number of climate zones. We are proud to carry Auto Bahn, the only autoflower F1 hybrid hemp seed available on the market today.
- As the hemp industry matures and becomes more focused on legal compliance, CBD percentages in the teens will become a thing of the past. By and large, those plants are simply non-compliant relative to the 0.3% THC requirement contained in the 2018 Farm Bill. The CBD:THC ratio is fairly consistent across the species, and rarely gets above 30:1. Exceedingly high CBD yields are possible, but only at the risk of a non-compliant hemp crop.
- Hemp crop insurance is not just on the horizon anymore, it’s here. HNP and Adams Insurance Advisors have partnered on a new hemp grower’s program for this year, to document the hemp production history necessary to qualify for crop insurance next year. Call us for details!
- Large hemp farming equipment OEMs like Claas are applying learnings from the global hemp industry to develop gear for the American market… gear that will work on hemp varieties grown for oil, fiber or seed.
In short, we’re excited to see what the future holds as the hemp industry matures. And like you, we can’t wait to put the spring of 2020 behind us.
Fill out the form below to access the slides and full recording of Hemp in the Rockies