For farmers that are interested in growing hemp for either CBD production or industrial application, it can be a great industry to join as long as you’ve done your research. As a part of any proper business plan, hemp farmers will need to consider the type of equipment needed for their operation. Since hemp is a rather labor-intensive crop, finding the right equipment beforehand can help eliminate some unexpected costs while limiting your labor costs to what’s essential. If you’re interested in planting CBD seed on your Oregon farm, here are the farming equipment requirements.
When it comes to hemp farming equipment requirements, the answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as you would think. Due to the recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill which made hemp cultivation federally legal, hemp farming is still pretty new to the United States market. While hemp farming has shown to be quite lucrative, farming equipment companies have yet to offer specialized equipment for sale. As more and more companies continue to start rolling out new hemp farming equipment for planting CBD seed, we’re looking forward to having more hemp farming equipment to choose from.
While hemp farming equipment might still be limited, another significant factor is that equipment depends on what end production goal you’re looking to pursuit. Since hemp can be cultivated for both CBD as well as numerous industrial applications, equipment is based on what part of the plant you need to harvest. CBD production requires harvesting the flower and buds which will need different farming equipment when compared to cultivating hemp fiber for textiles, building materials, etc.
Farmers looking to switch to hemp may be curious if they can repurpose any of their existing equipment. The good news is that in most circumstances this is possible. If you previously grew corn, wheat, tomatoes, or other cash crops on your Oregon farm, you should be able to utilize or adapt some of your existing farming equipment for hemp cultivation.
Preparing your soil plays a key role in the success of your harvest. For farmers interested in planting CBD seed, you’ll need a good amount of space to do so. Broadcasting seeds is not an option for CBD production– you’ll need to prepare raised beds and plan for approximately 1600 plants per acre. If you’re planning on planting a considerable number of hemp crops, investing in industrially raised bed shapers could help design even, tight beds. Plastic mulch layers are also a good piece of equipment to consider. These layers are meant to put down strips of stretched plastic along your farm rows which can help you conserve water, control weeds, and maintain consistent soil temperatures.
Hemp planting equipment varies based on whether you’re planting CBD seed directly into your soil or using clones instead. We always recommend germinating your hemp seed in a greenhouse for optimal taproots rather than sowing them directly into the field. If you do decide to directly plant into your fields, a seed drill is recommended for better efficiency. Seed drills work to plant your CBD seed in the correct soil depth and cover them for proper weather and pest protection.
If you’re planning on using clones instead of CBD seed, you’ll need a good transplanter. Transplanters help plant your clones in the right formulation and provide the right amount of spacing between your plants for them to thrive. Find a transplanter that can handle your plants delicately in order to minimize trauma risks when planting.
While hemp is known for requiring less water than other cash crops, it still requires approximately 30 inches of rainfall during each season. Depending on where you’re located in Oregon, you may need an irrigation system. Hemp typically thrives with a variety of irrigation systems including micro-sprinklers, drip irrigation, and pivot irrigation. For farmers switching over to hemp, you’ll usually already have a pivot irrigation system that can be utilized for hemp as well.
New farmers that don’t have an irrigation system should opt for drip irrigation systems since it directs water to the roots. Drip irrigation helps save water and also ensures that enough water reaches the roots, minimizing mildew and weeds.
One of the biggest challenges in finding hemp-specific farming equipment is looking for harvesting options. Since hemp is a fibrous, tough plant, many traditional harvest machines don’t stand a chance. When planting CBD seed, farmers need to determine beforehand if they’re harvesting hemp flower or biomass. Biomass is easier to harvest and is less labor-intensive but won’t have as high CBD content as the flowers. Small-scale farms usually focus on harvesting hemp flower while large-scale farms like to focus on harvesting hemp biomass.
If you decide to harvest biomass, you’ll want a CBD-specific hemp harvester which is designed specifically for this task. They are much gentler than traditional harvesters and carefully cut each plant. If you decide to harvest hemp flower, there is unfortunately no equipment available. You’ll have to harvest hemp flower by hand in order to not damage or contaminate the crop.
Hemp processing equipment is required for CBD extraction. CO2 extraction is the preferred method but there are many other processing equipment options available. Farmers can decide to process their hemp themselves or outsource this task. Since extraction equipment requires significant financial investment and a lot of training, most farmers choose to find a CBD processor to work with rather than doing it themselves.
CBD Seed Co. is honored to be the trusted CBD seed supplier serving the state of Oregon. Our team is always available to help you decide what farming equipment you need to run a successful operation. Work with our incredible hemp farmers to gain access to our industry-leading experience. For more information regarding what hemp farming equipment you need, please contact us!