This exchange intrigued me because hemp is quickly evolving in the industry—so, what does the crop offer to growers who’ve had skin in the produce game for decades?
That’s the question everyone will be asking at the Organic Grower Summit (OGS) this year, with Amy delivering a keynote speech to address transforming the unsustainable through industrial hemp production.
“The cost to do a high-value hemp crop is relative to the value of that crop after it’s produced,” Amy explained. “Meaning that there will be a substantial investment into that growing operation to produce a crop that has the kind of high value that farmers would ideally like to have. For Industrial Hemp (vs. Hemp for CBD extractions), you’re looking at growing a commodity crop that is typically lower in cost to produce and has experienced lower value in the market.”
OGS attendees will surely be mind blown, like I was, to digest all of the opportunities available to growers in this sector. When I asked Tanya what innovations have been developed in the hemp industry, she informed me that we are in the midst of a great technological push to support the commercialization of Industrial Hemp.
According to her, technology along the manufacturing pipeline is still evolving to make it cost-efficient to compete with other materials.
I went on to question how hemp provides an opportunity to be more kind to the Earth, but quickly learned that hemp encapsulates many of the things that sustainability represents.
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“We have a chance in this industry to grow something organically right from the start—and that has a dual meaning,” Tanya began. “Most hemp farmers do grow hemp organically because it’s naturally resistant to pesticides. There are a few bugs that like it, but there are natural solutions to that, so you don’t have to spray pesticides over hemp. Most farmers take pride in growing their material organically, and some may take the extra steps to certify themselves as organic. But the majority of material is grown naturally and organically.”
Though hemp may be a door leading to a boost in sales for organic operations, not all that glitters is gold. Tanya left me with some sage advice for growers looking to move into the hemp sector.
“The advice I would give to farmers today looking to grow hemp, is start small,” Tanya said. “Don’t assume that you’re going to have an automatic cash cow. The market is unstable for consistent pricing. It’s really about finding the type of hemp you want to grow, making sure you’re near a processing facility that can actually handle the material, and start small. Test out the soil you have and find experts that really know what they’re doing. Even if you’re a farmer that’s been growing for generations, find somebody that really knows how to grow hemp in the sector of the industry that you’re interested in, and do it really well.”
It truly is the Wild West out there in terms of industrial and commercial hemp regulations as we have seen in recent news. Putting the cart before the horse is a losing game but lucky for voices like Tanya’s, the industry will be able to receive first-hand clarity at OGS where many that are not equipped to expand into the category have only found muddy water.
My conversation with the two powerhouses extended long past this page, but I’ll have to save the rest for another day. In the meantime, you can learn about industrial hemp production directly from the http://www.titanhemp.net and http://www.titanbioplastics websites.
And if you’re lucky enough to attend the Organic Grower Summit this year, all of this and more will be divested to you in Amy’s keynote speech. As always, ANUK will continue investigating this agricultural opportunity, so stay tuned.
Published on andnowuknow.com