Hemp will be a big crop very soon thanks to the 2018 farm bill!

Got an email today… outfit looking for fiber-type hemp. Paying $300/ton, delivered. I have no idea if that’s a good price or not. Never looked at growing fiber hemp… almost no processors, so little demand… the few that were out there were paying pennies a pound. Easier to handle than floral/CBD hemp or MJ… you just plant it, let it grow to whatever the desired degree of maturity, mow it down, let it lie in the field and ‘blet’, then bale it like cornstalks.

We grew 12 acres of Floral/CBD hemp in 2019. Projected payout looked like we would ‘hit a big lick’… but collapse of the market, and breach of contract by our processor, resulted in us still having every scrap of hemp bud material that we grew and harvested still in the barn here, with no prospects for it being anything but very expensive carbon-based mulch. That year was the hardest I ever worked in my entire life… from before sunup to bedtime… EVERY day… it was just putting one foot in front of the other to get everything done.
Once you consider all the inputs… our losses were in the low six-figures range. But… we followed a friend’s advice (Don’t put more into it than you can afford to lose), and cash-flowed the whole operation… though we did liquidate the 80-cow beef herd, which helped offset some of the $$ losses - and I still have some equipment that could be sold, and an additional 50x80 polebarn that may or may not have some value when the farm sells at some point in the future.
High point was that my daughters came home and helped out for a goodly portion of the summer and fall harvest/bucking season.

I do not think that the small grower will ever make it as a hemp farmer… it’s inevitably going to be a ‘big-boys’ or vertically-integrated corporate endeavor. There are several ‘family farm’ outfits around here that crop tens of thousands of acres in corn/soybeans/wheat/canola - and some also do hundreds of acres of tobacco. They have, or can afford, the necessary equipment and labor to grow hemp and potentially do more than lose money on it.

I’ll never plant another hemp plant. Nope, no way, ain’t gonna do it. Marijuana… if legalized… I might consider a small acreage… maybe 1 acre… if I had some near-guarantee that I’d actually have a product that someone would pay for… I know how to grow it now…I could do one acre in my sleep!.

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Hemp Rope. Hemp concrete. Hemp mulch.
Thanks to Senator Rand Paul.