About 80 years after the federal government locked the door on cannabis, farmers can once again get into the production game. This is not to say that getting into the cannabis business is easy. It’s not. But with demand increasing at a rate never seen before, more farmers are willing to give it a try, even if it does mean learning as they go along.
It seems like farmers everywhere are looking to get into the hemp business. The trouble is that nearly all farmers go about it differently. This is where they find details from i49.
How Big is the Market?
According to a report issued by New Frontier Data, the overall market value of the CBD market is projected to reach $2 billion, with the market exclusively to hemp-derived CBD at $646 million. Naturally, this projected explosive growth is leading many farmers to not only supplement their current crops with cannabis, but others are moving to exclusively cannabis growing for their business.
For many of today’s cannabis farmers, growing 200 acres of crops or more is nothing. Experts say everybody is in learning mode because not only is the market young, but it changes week to week, sometimes even day to day.
New Crops, New Methods
Fortunately, farmers are not new to learning to grow new crops. Farmers are known to change from one crop to another to catch new trends and adapt their growing methods accordingly. Such is the case for those farmers who begin with cannabis.
For example, cannabis likes hot, sunny weather with watering only when the soil gets very depleted. This is different from other crops, such as corn, which need moist soil to grow.
The same is true of the soil itself, which many farmers believed only needed to be marginal for hemp to thrive. Unfortunately, farmers quickly learned that cannabis needs rich soils to grow, just like many other plants.
It’s important to note that owning and selling cannabis seeds is legal almost anywhere as it’s recognized that they are used for many other things except growing marijuana. You can even buy them online in seed shops like Zamnesia.
Another difference in cannabis growing that farmers have learned is that, once cannabis is planted, options are limited, since herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides should not be used.
How do farmers keep weeds under control? Lots of work with a hoe, of course. Cannabis is a crop that is very labor-intensive, much more so than tobacco. The same amount of vigilance is required throughout the growing season, especially when it comes time for sexual maturity.
To a great extent, this is when the game changes, depending on how a farmer wishes to sell his crops. For the CBD market, sexual maturity of the plants means “no males allowed,” since males can pollinate an entire field that triggers female growth and seed production. On the other hand, those farmers who wish to grow for seed allow this growth.
If there is one area of cannabis farming that has much in common with other types, it’s harvest time, which requires considerable amounts of warehouse room, equipment, and labor. When harvesting crops, there is even more diversity involved, with crews armed with tobacco knives and shears to hand-cut plants before moving indoors for drying.
However farmers get their crops harvested, it’s still a free-for-all, with everyone learning the business as they go along. There is no final authority to ask. As a result, many cannabis farmers have learned to work together to enjoy the mutual benefits. After all, whatever works, works.