First year hemp growers fight to achieve profitability

For the very first time in over ten years, farmers in many areas of the nation have the liberty to generate hemp component of the plow and select repertoire.

It’s been said for decades that the legalization of industrial hemp production in the USA would breathe fresh life into agriculture, even providing the American farmer the advantage of a true money crop. The 2018 Farm Bill, which was signed last year by President Trump, came from nowhere to do exactly that. 

Now, for the first time in over eight years, farmers in many areas of the nation have the liberty to generate hemp component of the plow and select repertoire. It’s a business sector that’s predicted to achieve well over $2 billion over the next couple of decades. But, there’s a learning curve involved that’s making it hard for hemp growers locate profitability out from the gate. 

At the Midwest, where hemp farmers have been harvesting this crop for the first time since World War II, delayed planting attempts and thick spring rain has produced a circumstance in which the harvest is somewhat lackluster, to say the very least. Indiana farmer Mark Boyer, that planted 50 acres of hemp for use for high quality food petroleum, told the South Bend Tribune that late planting triggered many different problems, such as puny yields. 

“The plants didn’t get as tall,” he explained, “they never canopied and that created weed problems.”

Another significant problem that lots of hemp farmers are facing is theft. Maybe thinking they are stealing its intoxicating cousin marijuana, thieves are slipping into hemp areas and carrying thousands of dollars of merchandise. And while thieving may seem like the purchase price of doing business, it’s an issue that could cripple those farmers who have entered the berry match to stay afloat. Since these heists aren’t only occurring on event, it’s something which goes down frequently. 

“You feel violated that people come here and steal from you when you’re trying to help a new industry get started that can help a lot of people,” New York hemp farmer Dale Weed told The Times of Wayne County. “It’s alarming, the fact with no theft in 17 years, and now I’m being robbed every night.”

Ramping up security and increasing foot patrols is just one more investment that hemp farmers should survive. However, for Weed along with other farmers who can’t afford to fall beaucoup dollars on around the clock watchdogs it’s all up to friends and family to make up the changes when there aren’t hired guns out there. 

“We’ve been trying to hire employees and outside people,” Weed said. “My family has spent quite a few nights here watching the property. I’ve spent nights here where I’m sleep deprived. It’s a big problem for us.”

There’s hope that these growing pains will subside in time. And if they do, then it is sure to be well worth the first hassle. A recent research proves that hemp farmers endure to make in upwards of 50, 000 per acre from hemp. By comparison, an acre of corn brings directly around $1, 000 per acre. But farmers will need to work for this money. Besides poor growing conditions and thieving, farmers still don’t have the appropriate tools to take care of industrial plants throughout the whole growing process. For most, this means attempting to grow with no licensed pesticides and harvesting by hand. 

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