Our friend Gregg Gnecco, who is a part of the IND Hemp team headquartered in Ft. Benton, Montana, has allowed us to steal his “Three Questions Every Hemp Grower Should Ask”. We think they are spot on and here they are:
- Where does hemp fit into what you’re already doing? The answer depends on the individual. If you’re already in production agriculture and already growing soybeans or wheat or corn, then your answer of how hemp fits is different than someone who has a few acres and wants to get in on the hemp revolution.
- What will grow where you are? Setting aside growing indoors, we are all aware different seeds will only grow well in certain temperate zones and in some places certain seeds won’t grow at all. Add to that soil conditions and weather and average rainfall – and a host of other factors – and the question still remains what will grow where you are?
- Who will buy what you are growing? It seems like an obvious question but far too often landowners and farmers jumped in and started planting and made the assumption that somebody somewhere would buy their crop.
Our co-op is here to help each member answer these questions.
For example, for the question of what will grow where you are, we are fully engaged in seed trials in the mid-South that will start this year and are on the books for next year. We have a full-time agronomist on-board to guide us.
On yesterday’s Webinar Wednesday we engaged in some good dialogue with Dion Oakes who has been growing hemp the past eight years in Colorado. Dion’s family-run hemp farm and processing operation, called Wright-Oakes Farms, not only processes for CBD and hemp grain for proteins, but also has a contract for his fiber with Patagonia.
We asked Dion what he thought of Gregg’s Three Questions and he immediately agreed and added a variation to Question 3: If you were growing soybeans would you plant without a contract? If the answer is “no” then why would you grow hemp with no contract?
One simple answer could be you want to find out what you don’t already know and getting seed in the ground helps to learn more. That’s a good answer if you can afford it.
While many of us get more and more enamored every day with all the things hemp can do – we know these possibilities border on incredulous – that doesn’t mean its wise to start planting because you’re anxious to get started. The old adage of measure twice and cut once may be a good reminder in this space.
All day and every day your co-op leadership team is running down leads and making introductions and looking for the right partners as markets for our growers’ hemp. And now we’ll ask a fourth question: What Would Soybean Growers Do?