Whether you're a farmer or even just an entrepreneur looking to take on a new venture, the fact remains that legally growing Industrial Hemp can yield a huge profit. And contrary to popular belief, growing hemp isn't always illegal; in fact, it's currently legal in 18 states--including California, Kentucky, and Maine--thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill Agreement. Read on to learn about the benefits of industrial hemp farming along with how to get started.
Why Invest in Industrial Hemp?
Since the growth of industrial hemp has only recently become legal in some US states, it's difficult to say for sure exactly how much of a profit the average farmer could stand to gain from each acre. However, experts at South Dakota State University have estimated that the average acre of hemp will bring in a profit of $71 per acre in the United States.
In fact, in Canada--where hemp farming has been legal for awhile--farmers consistently bring in more than $250 per acre.
How to Farm Industrial Hemp
The process of farming industrial hemp is easier than you may think. However, in order to bring in a decent amount of profit, you'll need a lot of land, materials, and the necessary equipment
Before you even attempt to purchase hemp seed or begin farming, not only will you need to make sure that hemp farming is legal in your state, but that you've followed all the legal guidelines necessary.
In all cases, the first step to growing hemp is to obtain a license from the DEA. The specific process for this can vary greatly from state to state. For example, in Colorado, farmers must submit a Commercial Industrial Hemp License application through the Department of Agriculture in order to be considered.
Once the license is approved, you can legally purchase hemp seeds and the other equipment necessary for beginning your industrial farming of hemp. This includes the right fertilizer; although hemp is technically a fertilizer itself, you will need a nitrogen-based fertilizer to ensure that the seed receives the proper nutrients to grow. For maximum stem yields, the hemp seeds should be planted in irrigated soil.
Hemp seeds grow best in temperate zones, but with the right care, they can grow just about anywhere. Ideal temperatures for hemp growth are between 60 and 80 degrees, though they can usually withstand some exposure to frost. Typically, a crop of hemp will take about four months to reach maturity before it can be harvested.
To properly care for your hemp seeds, they should be watered daily, and special care should be taken to avoid weed growth within the crops. Furthermore, insects such as cutworms can destroy hemp crops in some areas, so it's important to be on the lookout for insect problems and to use a safe insecticide to treat them as needed.
It's expected that industrial hemp growth will become legal in more states as the years progress, and that the decision to legalize it will benefit the nation's economy in the long run. Whether you live in a state where it's legal or not, it's something to consider for the future.