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How to Grow Hemp?

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How to Grow Hemp

This is a brief how to, written to help a startup hemp farmer know what is needed for the agricultural product he/she is getting into. 
There is a lot to know about Hemp, but hopefully this educational article makes it easier for those with a desire to pursue its potential as a viable agricultural commodity.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What am I growing Hemp for?

    • Flower?

    • Seed?

    • Fiber?

If you are planning to grow Hemp for its Fiber, a facility in the USA has truly not been set up as of now (early 2019) for processing hemp stalks into usable materials. It is a wonderfully strong and healthy fiber, that can be made into thousands of products ranging from Clothing, Paper, Hempcrete (a concrete like material for building) Hemp Plastic, and SO much more. Sadly, We at Murphy Hemp do not currently have, or know of a facility in the USA that will properly process hemp fiber on the scale that is necessary. If this is your desire for growing hemp, pursue it with the knowledge that money is needed to develop a full scale processing facility.

Growing Hemp for its Flower definitely has a market right now, but you should decide whether you will be growing for a shelf flower quality, or for processing your flower into hemp extract/oil.

The price for either of these end products will be different, and so will the amount of work you put into the product.

If you are growing with clones or feminized seed starts, they can be planted 3-5 feet apart, starting after the last frost of the year, or up until about early June at the latest.
Starts should be planted in early morning and given water after being transplanted into the ground.

Growing for Shelf Flower, it is best to have experience with the cannabis plant and how to properly dry it, cure it, and trim it, as these things are important to ensure a high quality flower.
Drying and curing can take a lot of time and space, so if you don't have a facility to do this part of the process, you will need to have a relationship with somebody willing to dry and possibly cure the flowers for you.

Growing flower for the oil or extract will be a similar process, the flowers will still need to be grown, dried, and cured properly.
But the overall labor put into the product will be less intensive, therefor you may be able to produce a higher quantity but have a lower price-point for your end material.

Growing for Seed you will be doing a different process. When you grow for seed, all the energy of the plant is going towards those seeds, so the remaining flower produced will be minimal, and it will need to have the seed separated from it.
That seed can then be sold to other farmers, distributors, or it can be used for next years crop.
The flower can be extracted for oil, or sold to processors for their own extraction.
(Please note if you intend to sell your seed you may need to require a seed handlers license from your state department of agriculture.)

Growing for seed, you will need Male and Female plants. You may need to encourage the spreading of pollen from the Male plants to ensure a well seeded crop. This can be done by hand, or with equipment. Although, the wind may do most the work for you.

There are different strains of Hemp plants that produce different percentages of CBD, and other Cannabinoids.
Making sure you have Hemp Seed, Clones or Starts that have been tested to have a low level of THC (below 0.3%) and High levels of CBD (10-20%) is one of the most important parts of growing Hemp successfully.
These Cannabinoids are what give hemp flowers value, and if your flower is over the legal percentage of THC it may not be considered Hemp in your state, and this would end in all of your product being destroyed due to it being classified as “Marijuana” which takes different, much more stringent licensing, and is in some states still illegal to grow.