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The pressure Covid-19 is putting on businesses and individuals is also highlighting something wonderful: the capacity of Americans to come together as a community and support their peers.

That became evident during the recent “Hemp in the Heartland” webinar, an educational event for the Nebraska hemp growing community co-organized by HNP Farm Services and The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute.

Over three hours, attendees throughout Nebraska and surrounding states dialed in to learn about Nebraska’s burgeoning hemp regulations, research underway at the University of Nebraska, the state of the art in hemp seed genetics, best practices in hemp crop consulting, how the crop is being adapted to large hemp farming operations through hemp seed coating and other developments, how major equipment manufacturers are modifying farm equipment such as hemp headers to better address the unique challenges of harvesting hemp, what to expect under the USDA’s new crop insurance pilot program, and much more.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Professor Ismail Dweikat at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln summarized the results of his research to date on hemp seed varieties that perform well in Nebraska’s different climate zones, as well as the importance of minimizing cross-pollination of hemp. Some of his recommendations include adjusting your hemp planting date and introducing autoflower hemp varieties.
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  • Nick Cavarra at Panacea Life Sciences served as the “voice of the customer,” providing the hemp processor’s point of view on hemp quality and emphasizing the importance of hitting the processor’s hemp specifications for acceptable product.
  • Nick Stromberg at Beacon Hemp explained the hemp breeding process, what quality hemp genetics looks like and why, and explained the difference between photoperiodic hemp varieties and autoflower hemp (a common question among attendees at the webinar!). Nick predicts that autflower hemp will rapidly become the standard for large hemp farming operations.
  • Jeff Smith, VP of Sales at HNP Farm Services, emphasized the critical nature of going into the field with quality products: starting with good hemp genetics, planting quality coated hemp seed or transplanting hemp starts, and taking a cost-effective approach to maximizing hemp crop yield and profitability.
  • Scott Knipplemeir at Agrarian Supply (returning to his Nebraska roots!) highlighted the impact on hemp yields, and thereby profitability, that expert hemp crop consulting can have, and the importance of tailoring your hemp growing program to the specifics of your own growing climate.
  • Adams Insurance Advisors and NAU Country explained the exciting recent developments in hemp crop insurance, and how to use that hemp crop risk management tool in a cost-effective way.
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  • Product managers from Claas of America detailed their research and development program on hemp farming equipment, including hemp cultivation and hemp harvesting.

And of course, HNP Farm Services highlighted the benefit of taking an integrated approach to hemp farming and working with partners in the hemp value chain that you can count on. These partners should take the time to understand your business and adapt their knowledge of the hemp industry to it — not the other way around.

Now more than ever, it is important for members of the hemp industry to acknowledge their responsibility to one another, and share resources and knowledge to ensure their mutual success. HNP Farm Services will certainly continue to do its part.

We’re pleased to announce another webinar in this series, “Hemp in the Rockies,” taking place on April 7. Click here for more details.