“It’s a crapshoot.” Those are the words of NHGC’s agronomist Dr. David Cornett when asked what happens when hemp seed is bought over the internet or through an unknown seed broker. We had the pleasure of Dr. Cornett as our “in-house” guest on this week’s Webinar Wednesday.
Part of living in the wild, wild west of the hemp industry is dealing with wranglers and hustlers, and it seems many of the past problems for hemp growers have come from the seed business.
We’ve heard horror stories of hemp seeds not coming out of the ground at all. We’ve heard of them starting to grow and dying out after two inches tall. We’ve even heard of “seeds” being noxious weeds. Can you imagine more of a cluster?
So how do you know the seeds are “as advertised”? If you’re a co-op member, you have a Ph.D. from Colorado State as a trusted portal. We have set standards for the seed we recommend ONLY after Dr. Cornett has vetted them. In order to get his sign of approval, there must be dialogue with the scientists who have developed the seed varieties and not simply a conversation with the sales staff.
Another critical component is knowing the temperate zone where the hemp will be planted. For example, what grows in Minot, North Dakota, doesn’t necessarily grow well in Wetumpka, Alabama. Should the end-user of the crop (the person writing the check for the crop) may have a particular variety in mind, you can bet that will be important to figure out.
Who can afford to roll the dice on seed? Not us.