Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Timing is everything, and we're all feeling it.
Farmers all across our region are asking the same questions related to agricultural hemp production. We are watching and waiting, trying to sense where the winds are shifting - daily, and sometimes hourly.
What felt like a "booming market" in 2019 seems to have bottomed out in 2020. Prices have dropped out, and many farmers are left with massive inventory of hemp waiting to sell or process.
With so much uncertainty in the industry, many farmers are facing massive questions about whether or not to "go back in" during this growing season.
Throw into that mix the enormous unforeseen shift of the Corona Virus this year. All eyes were on agricultural hemp during the opening months of 2020 - but nobody saw this coming. The COVID-19 virus has thrown the entire global economy into an uproar, and while farming can continue as an "essential industry," so much is still in question.
With those questions fore-front in our minds, why would we offer continuing education in agricultural hemp? What's the sense of learning about a market that appears to be suddenly declining?
Here are two very important reasons why training – and our training in particular – are so critical to your future as you continue to process your decision-making.
STAY IN THE GAME
Frankly - it's so important to keep one foot planted - one oar in the water (whatever your preferred metaphor!) when it comes to planting hemp.
Many farmers grew in large scale last year. I personally planted over 70 acres on my farm. A lot of us planned to do as-much-if-not-more this year, and now that certainly feels like a risky decision.
But is this an all-or-nothing market? Should we completely jump ship?
Planting CBD hemp is definitely a risky venture, and your risk tolerance will be tested. We sense that it will be a "last-man standing" scenario. After the dust settles and the regulations are finally carved out, who will remain?
Staying in the game means continuing to learn - and test and try and experiment. Our entire philosophy of growing together provides that environment of asking the tough questions and revealing many of the learnings we gleaned during the 2019 season. In our online classes, I provide my view of the market from my network connections in government, processing and growers associations nationally to provide a strong framework for next steps.
We're now encouraging farmers who are uncertain of large-scale planting to at the very least, keep a test plot of CBD hemp growing on their farm. If 40 acres seems too risky, why not plant 2-3 acres? For the smaller grower, plant a few hundred plants and try some new promising varieties. Continue to experiment with us. Try various methods of seeding, plant population, and drying - that’s what I’m planning to do. I want to discover what other farmers are doing this year and then we can evaluate together what we learn.
That’s the very essence of what sets Hemp Innovators apart by providing practical and field-tested information that you can use for your success!
Because...hemp isn't going anywhere. The market is uncertain now, but when it settles out, those that remain in the game will be many, many steps ahead from those who back out now.
One thing many of us learned (including myself!) from our first growing season was that the early experiments did not yield the quality of CBD hemp that we would prefer.
More importantly, it's not the quality that the MARKET will eventually demand.
As the CBD industry quickly grows around the nation, processors will begin looking for higher quality product. And that product will be required to be sourced from quality origins.
My background is in cover cropping. I have over 25 years of research and experience in developing the richest soil possible as a result of cover crops. I've trained, consulted and spoken globally about this topic.
Particularly in the last several years, I've watched the trends of sustainable agriculture quickly become gospel across the entire food supply chain. The sources that sell my crops demand that they be derived from a farm rooted in regenerative agriculture.
My book looks at that topic, and how farms that adopt these practices can future-proof themselves - or become obsolete.
Cover cropping and sustainable agriculture isn't just applicable to the food industry, though. While genetics will play a huge part, we can accurately predict that CBD hemp grown in rich cover cropped soil will yield a far greater quality overall.
And that kind of product will be VERY desirable - and sale-able - as the industry progresses.
You do not need to be cover cropping now. Or ever. That's not our goal at Hemp Innovators. Our aim is to provide the best-level of hemp education possible.
However, with my expertise in cover cropping, and with the clear trends in the overall industry, I can also help provide training from that unique vantage point to give you the best possible chance for overall success.
We invite you to join us. Stay in the game. Plan for the future and keep connected to the best possible education for the best possible outcome.
We look forward to sharing in this exciting venture together!