CBD + Hemp

sample COA CBD Lab Results

CBD Lab Results Decoded: How to Read a CBD Lab Report

2370 2925 Blue Forest Farms

When you decide to purchase a CBD product the number of choices is staggering! It’s especially easy to see this explosion of options in the online marketplaces for CBD offerings. This is great, as it gives consumers plenty of options and variety to pick from, but it can also be a bit overwhelming and intimidating to try and make an informed decision. Everyone wants to know they’re buying from a reputable company, but how can you actually tell one that is from one that isn’t? 

Since the FDA has yet to mandate any regulations on CBD products, a good indicator that you’re shopping at a company with excellent standards is whether they provide lab results. Of course, it’s wonderful when you can access that information on a company’s website, but most of us aren’t scientists who know where to begin when looking at some of these tests. 

Above we’re looking at one of Blue Forest Farms lab tests and we’ll break down the vital information you should be looking for in these potency lab results.

CBD Content in Lab Results

This is probably the most important result and the one you’ll most likely want to check first since it will let you know that you’re actually getting the amount of that main ingredient that the label says you are. 

For example, BFF Advanced Formula Organic Lemon Drops come in a 600mg bottle, with 14mg of CBD per serving, according to the label. So, when you look at the lab breakdown, locate the result for CBD, and follow it across, you’ll see that the amount of milligrams per gram (Result mg/g or Total Potential CBD at the bottom) is 14.61, slightly higher than, but almost identical to, what’s promised on the label. In general, test results shouldn’t vary more or less than around 10-20% of what is advertised. 

There’s another useful column to note, which is the first one, LOQ(mg). You may be wondering what LOQ(mg) refers to, and what that result means. LOQ stands for “Limit of Quantitation.” That’s a fancy way of saying the smallest amount for which the test can provide reliable accuracy. While it is a way to evaluate the precision of the testing, and the sample result shouldn’t be much less than than the LOQ, this isn’t a column you should be very concerned with.

THC Content in Lab Results

A big red flag that a company isn’t properly sourcing the hemp for their products can be found in the THC levels. Again, this result can be found at the very bottom of our example, just above Total Potential CBD, and should be at or below 0.3%, which is the current legal limit. 

You probably see that there is a small amount of THCV in this test, however THCV is a cannabinoid unique from regular THC. THCV is not a psychoactive unless taken in very high doses. The THC you want to make sure is 0, or at least below 0.3%, is Delta 9- Tetrahydracannabinol (Delta 9THC), second from the top on the list of compounds in our example. This is the psychoactive type of THC.

Other Areas of Note

When checking on the legitimacy of a product, the amount of CBD and THC are likely the two main questions you’ll have on your mind, and, in this example, that information is easy enough to find. Not only is it all compiled for you right at the bottom, but there’s also the handy pie graph on the left comparing not only CBD, CBDa, delta 9 THC, and THCa, but also a full 15fifteen compound breakdown if you want to really geek out on what cannabinoids are in your product. 

Other cannabinoids you may be interested in are CBDV, and CBG. These two unique compounds are rising stars in the CBD hemp industry. We’ll link to our blog posts here for full details on these and other new cannabinoids as more are discovered.

Find Your Personalized CBD Lab Results with BFF

CBD products are meant to help us be healthy, calm, and relaxed in body and mind, so shopping for them shouldn’t be a stressful event. Now that you have the tools to identify a trustworthy seller from one that might have a reason to keep their information hidden, and how to easily find the most relevant information to make sure the product you’re buying is perfect for you, CBD shopping can be a stress-free activity. If you shop with BFF, finding your personalized test result is as simple as entering your batch number on our site!

Sources:

https://hempdaddys.com/how-to-read-cbd-lab-tests/

https://www.marijuanabreak.com/thcv-tetrahydrocannabivarin

https://www.botanacor.com/education/understanding-your-lab-report/

organic hemp farm

Grow Guide: Integrated Pest Management

1200 479 Blue Forest Farms

One of the most widespread myths regarding hemp is that it is pest and disease resistant. Yes, hemp is quite hardy compared to other agronomics but that doesn’t mean its immune to pests. In fact, some of the pests that affect things like corn or tobacco also affect hemp. Because the hemp industry is still in its infancy, whether you’re growing hemp for CBD hemp oil wholesale to be made into flavored tinctures or other reasons, farmers lack clear guidelines when it comes to managing these pests and diseases. Thankfully, we have some tips. 

Nearly 100 fungal pathogens, a number of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, not to mention 300 insect pests have the capacity to harm your thriving hemp crop. With that being said, many of these pests and diseases don’t cause enough harm to trigger economic damage. So rather than saying that hemp is pest and disease resistant, a more accurate phrase would be that hemp is pest tolerant. 

Although no clear literature regarding the subject exists, due to lack of research and a budding industry, integrated pest management proves to be the best approach when it comes to maintaining healthy crops. 

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) combines multiple methods to manage pest problems. The main goal of this is not to completely eradicate pests, but rather prevent, reduce, or maintain pest populations at non-damaging levels, while relying on as few chemical pesticides as possible.

Knowledge 

When it comes to creating an effective IPM strategy, the first step should be accurately identifying the pests and then establishing thresholds to determine when and if action is required. One of the most important factors when it comes to pest management is prevention. It seems quite obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s not as easy as it sounds. 

Prevention

There are a few different ways you can prevent pests from hunkering down in your hemp crop. First and foremost, when bringing new plants into a closed environment, indoor growers should always inspect and quarantine plants to avoid to spread of pests and establish sanitation practices to prevent pests from entering on shoes, clothing, or equipment . By maintaining consistent field or environmental conditions, you will reduce the pests’ habitats and in turn their presence. 

Monitoring

It’s best to consistently monitor your crops for pests. This way you have the potential to catch the issues before it turns into a real problem. Pheromone traps or yellow sticky cards can be used to asses which and how many pests are present in your crops. 

Intervention

If you do detect pests and intervention is required, it is best to evaluate all available options to determine which would be the most effective with the least negative side effects. At this point, you could probably call yourself a plant doctor as you figure out an optimal treatment plan. 

Cultural, Mechanical, Biological and Chemical Pest Control

Pest control can often include cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical methods. Integrative pest management strategies often utilize one or more of these options with chemical methods being the last plan of action. 

Cultural control methods alter the environment to make the industrial an unaccommodating habitat for pests.  These modifications might include practices like altering the irrigation schedule or type to combat mold or root disease. Another example would be growing a companion crop like chamomile to that attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs. 

Mechanical controls utilize physical methods to mitigate pest problems. A few examples of this would be removing weeds and diseased plant material, using traps, or putting filters on air intakes. 

Biological controls use natural enemies to attack the pest. For example, a greenhouse grower might release predatory mites in their greenhouse in an attempt to control a spider mite problem. These methods prove extremely safe and effective. However,  both researchers and farmers notice new pests and diseases almost every day, suggesting much more research is needed to determine which predators are effective at controlling which pests and in what environments these pests and predators thrive. 

Lastly, we have chemical control methods or pesticide, which should always be used sensibly.

Up until December 2019, there were no approved pesticides for use on hemp. This changed when the Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of 10 products, 9 of which are biochemical pesticides with one conventional pesticide in the mix. However, it is never recommended that they be the sole pest management method in hemp cultivation.

By approving the use of pesticides, the EPA took the first few steps to providing crop protection to American farmers.  Even though research and literature regarding pest management methods and hemp cultivation prove to be lacking, it’s clear that the industry in addition to the United States’ government are moving in the direction of making hemp a national commodity and with that will come comprehensive pest and disease mitigation programs. 

 

Sources:

https://hempindustrydaily.com/hemp-growers-slowly-getting-help-battle-weeds-pests/

https://mass-cannabis-control.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Guidance-on-Integrated-Pest-Management.pdf

http://www.gray-robinson.com/1008/article/post/2353/for-the-first-time-epa-approves-pesticides-for-use-in-cultivating-hemp

BFF Hemp

Starting A Hemp Brand. Should You White vs Private Label? Learn the Difference

1102 734 Blue Forest Farms

Starting Your Hemp Brand Business

Likely right now you’ve got more time on your hands, counting COVID blessings 🙌🏾. I know we’ve been saying this a lot of late, but these are still unprecedented times. The Blue Forest Farms family has always been made up of farmers, entrepreneurs, and industry disruptors who are resilient and no stranger to challenges. We understand that with chaos comes a certain opportunity as well.

Drawing inspiration from tech, some of the most popular startups of today we’re birthed out of the 2008 USA economic crisis, seeing that we’re in a challenging time of today, now is a great time to get started in the hemp industry, or take your existing hemp business to the next level.

Different and Various Hemp Business Options

For being one of the oldest industrial crops even known to man, the global hemp industry is still at a very young development stage in history. Here in the United States things have picked up since 2014, fast-forward to 2020 countries from South Africa and Australia are starting to come online. We’re seeing legislation being passed, and conversations about the growth and exciting opportunities economically, socially, and environmentally leading to various business opportunities.

Harvest Hemp For Oil Business

Most of the approved legal hemp plans involve regulations for limits of THC levels indicating that growers of organic hemp are doing so primarily for wholesale CBD isolate and concentrate. This option is appealing to the industry because of the familiarity of people knowing how to process the Cannabis plan into oil and make other distillates in bulk. Blue Forest Farms has experience in this arena, we launched our Whats Your Number System earlier this year.

Start a Hemp Tech Company

Also earlier this year during our Future of Cannabis Webinar we learned that Cannabis specific investment firms increasingly are financing new software or platforms that impact the tech side of the hemp industry. This can be solutions for payment processing online, or in cannabis dispensaries, to at-home devices like this easy bake oven for making your very own CBD edible treats at home. If you’ve got an innovative tech idea that relates to hemp, and want to pique the interest of investors this is a good route to take.

Start a Hemp Investment Firm

Speaking of investors, ask yourself if you meet these conditions: you’re the type who would rather not get their hands dirty in the field, greenhouse, or laboratory, and you’ve got a lot of spare cash lying around. If you answered yes to both, you’re in the perfect position to become a hemp investor. You can go the traditional route and get accredited, or use sources like social media, apps, and crowdsourcing platforms to find brands looking for funding.

Social Justice Brand or Hemp Healing Center

The cannabis industry has a long history with injustices, and as we see states like California, Hawaii, Texas, Florida, joining the hemp revolution social justice organizations, non-profits, and community groups are forming business whose sole focus is to bring balance to humanity in some way through the power of this amazing plant! If you’re heart is in it, you may want to start this type of hemp business.

Flower Specialty line

An excellent business to start or expand to if you’re already growing hemp is a Flower Specialty Line. Instead of processing CBD flower for oils, you can use the hemp flower to make pre-rolled cigarettes, or sell the hemp flower in bulk. If you grow exclusive hemp strains like Hot Blonde and Queen Dream you avoid the market saturation of other strains. This is the same for growing hemp strains that are good for bulk hemp oil as well.

Growing Hemp For A White or Private Label Retail Line

One of the hemp business types that we support at Blue Forest Farms is supporting our farmers with answering the question what can you do with wholesale CBD isolate and concentrate? With our extensive lab experience and relationships we have successfully formulated unique and award winning products that can be sold direct to a consumer, or at wholesale distribution prices.

Contact us now at (303) 962-8250 to get started, mention #blueisbest to save 20% your initial white or private label order.

Hemp Private LabelWhat’s The Difference Between White Label and Private Label

The difference between the two is minor, but important. A private label brand is sold exclusively at one retailer through an agreement between two businesses while when you start a white label brand you are taking the formulation of an already existing brand, like BFF Hemp What’s Your Number System and putting your own label (renaming and rebranding) on it to resell as your own.

Benefits of Private Label

If you already own a retail storefront that is direct to consumer, like a dispensary, health club, cafe, or you’re thinking about opening one, having a private label CBD Hemp brand in your store has a huge benefit to your business. Consumers will only be able to get that specific product offering at your location(s), therefore driving traffic directly to you increasing sales of all your services and products. You benefit from the cross marketing of the private label, and people these days enjoy being able to say they use “an exclusive brand.” It’s great for social media collaboration and attention points.

Benefits of White Label

With white label, you have way more flexibility and control. You can get creative with your branding and marketing, and because of the nature of our global economy, your return on investment opportunity is greater than the private label route. It’s also a lot easier. More brands are eager to allow white labeling of their product, and everything is ready to go from a assets perspective. It’s a plug and play solution that can easily scale.

Contact us now at (303) 962-8250 to get started, mention #blueisbest to save 20% your initial white or private label order.

Growers Guide: Diseases and Pests to Look For When Growing Hemp

5472 3648 Blue Forest Farms

Hemp Farm Pest and Disease Management

Since the passage of the farm bill, there has been a hemp boom In the United States, with farmers from all over the country purchasing wholesale hemp seeds, and cashing in on the crop to make CBD bulk isolate, CBD hemp oil and more. As the plant started to grow more widely across the country, farmers detected increasing amounts of pests and diseases. Some of these pests, like corn earworm, are no stranger to industrial farmers, as they affect other commercial crops. Regardless, these pests are still nuisances and are best controlled with an integrated pest management strategy.

Just like most things in life, the first step to making a change is acknowledging the problem. In this case, it’s identifying bugs, diseases, and other issues that negatively affect your hemp crop.

Without further ado, here some issues to look out for while growing hemp so you can prepare.

Common Hemp Pests

Hemp Plant Pests

Corn Earworm

According to researchers at Colorado State University, Corn Earworm holds the most potential for damage. When it comes to hemp, corn earworms are public enemy number one. This worm is widespread across the United States and has a few different monikers besides corn earworm. It’s also known as the tomato fruitworm and the bollworm.

You may be relieved to hear that the worm typically poses a threat to plants that produce large flowers rather than seed or fiber varieties, as the majority of the damage occurs when the insects tunnel into buds and developing seeds. In places with milder winters, the pupas can survive in the soil and remerge the following season.

Hemp Russet Mite

Hemp Russet Mites can very easily go unnoticed, as they are basically microscopic. Often times, farmers don’t notice an infestation until they notice a powdery substance on the plant. This can easily be mistaken for mold or pollen but in actuality, it’s thousands of tiny bugs. Some early signs of infestation include curling, discolored leaves as well as brittle foliage.

Russet Mite infestations have been reported in California, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Kentucky, as well as Tennessee, suggesting that this pest can be found nationwide. Additionally, the pest affects both indoor and outdoor grows. Some have even had to completely destroy their fields due to the severity of infestation.

Cannabis Aphid

Aphids are basically hemp vampires but instead of blood they drink sap. While there are a number of aphid species around the world that affect a variety of plants, cannabis aphids are only known to live on– you guessed it– cannabis.

Aphids can typically be found on leaves and stems where they feed. Unlike thrips or spider mites, aphids don’t leave visible damage, making them significantly harder to detect. However, as they feed, aphids secrete a sticky fluid called honeydew, which can make the plant more susceptible to mold. This fluid appears as shiny dots on leaves, signaling the presence of aphids.  Farmers can also look for “cast skins” or the shedded exoskeleton of the insects to determine if they have an infestation.

Eurasian Hemp Borer

The Eurasian hemp borer is actually a moth in its caterpillar (larval) stage. Currently, the caterpillar is only known to live in places east of the Rocky Mountains.

Hemp borers cause damage by tunneling into the base of developing buds, which then causes the stem to wilt and die. Farmers have also reported damage to developing seed. The insect can survive through the winter as larva within stems and emerge to repopulate during the next season. Currently, there are no pheromone traps that will catch Eurasian Hemp Borers so the best way to detect their presence is either visually or with a sweep net.

Hemp Plant Diseases

Powdery Mildew

Due to higher humidity levels, powdery mildew primarily affects hemp grown in indoors. It is characterized by a fine white, tan, or gray powder on the surface of the plants. This powder signals fungal growth on the plant.

Powdery mildew doesn’t love high heat, favoring temperatures between 60 and 70 ºF. While the disease won’t kill the plant completely. It can negatively affect flowering, plant vigor, and yields.

Leaf Septoria

Leaf Septoria also known as yellow leaf spot is a harsh disease that affects the foliage of many plants. The disease is caused by the fungus Septoria lycopersici and is characterized by yellow and brown spots forming on the leaves. It rarely spreads to fruits so it is unlikely that flowers are affected.

Leaf Septoria proves prevalent in regions affected by periods of wet, humid conditions. With this in mind, farmers in the North Eastern and South Eastern United States should be particularly diligent about inspecting hemp leaves.

Industrial Hemp Farming Plant and Diseases Plan

The above represents only a few of the pests and diseases that can affect hemp crops around the United States. Even mice have been known to cause disasters if seeds are left in areas and containers that they can access. As the crop spreads further across the country, we can expect to see an increase in pests and diseases. Have no fear, though. With increased knowledge, we will be able to create superior pest and disease management strategies. We are excited to see what creepy crawlies make themselves known this season! Keep in touch with us on social for the most up to date information @blueforestfarms.

Sources:

https://webdoc.agsci.colostate.edu/hempinsects/PDFs/Corn%20earworm%20revised.pdf

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-12/pu-pss121608.php

https://webdoc.agsci.colostate.edu/hempinsects/PDFs/Eurasian%20hemp%20borer%20September%202018%20rewrite(1).pdf

https://academic.oup.com/jipm/article/10/1/26/5555744

https://agfax.com/2019/08/07/kentucky-hemp-dealing-with-septoria-leaf-spot/

https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/common-marijuana-hemp-diseases/

Blue Forest Farms Organic Hemp

Hemp Growing and Farming To-Do List: Month 2

1970 1018 Blue Forest Farms

Hemp Farmer To Do List: Month 2

This month’s list may be shorter than last month’s, but is by no means easier. You may think the hard work is all done once you’ve gone through the work of:

  • prepping your organic hemp farm
  • planning your field
  • getting a hemp irrigation set up
  • establishing a pest and weed management plan
  • purchasing seeds
  • germinating 
  • plus all the technical and business legwork that had to be done

At this point, you might be hoping you have a chance to sit back and just let the plants do their thing until harvest time. Well, sorry to break it to you, but this is a vital time for your crop and losing focus now will cost you when that harvest date comes around. So, with all that said, let’s get into what you need to do to make your second month successful for you and your growing crop.  

  • Watering

If you followed our first Farmer To Do guide, then you should have already decided and implemented some kind of irrigation system. This is a prime month for plant growth for nearly all crops, so this is when that irrigation system is at its most important. Regular, adequate watering is key to more than just keeping your plants alive. If you want them to grow to their full potential, and produce the highest quality harvest, make sure your watering plan is adequate, and that you are consistent with it. 

  • Keep It Clean 

Tools, shoes, hands, everything needs to be cleaned, and cleaned regularly. Plants can be susceptible to all kinds of pathogens and invaders we don’t even think about or notice. Any person or tool used in or around your plants needs to be properly clean and sanitized before exposure to prevent any unintentional infection or infestation.  

  • Pest Management 

Hopefully our pitch for an integrated pest management system (IPM) sold you on the idea, because this is when you’re going the be very glad you have one. While your plants are growing, they are also becoming bigger targets for pests. By now you should have identified the predatory pests you want to bring in to your farm and start releasing them. This is also when routine checks should begin. Examine your plants for pest damage and infestation regularly to identify what pests you are dealing with early to make sure you have a plan to combat them as fast as possible.  

  • Weed Management 

Just like pests, you need to be constantly vigilant of invading weeds. Again, while we do suggest using plastic mulch to help reduce the chances of weeds appearing, there’s no way to completely guarantee a weed-free farm. While you’re checking for pests, make it a habit to also make sure the only thing you’re growing in your farm is what you actually want. 

  • Check For Males 

Another unfortunate reality is that it is impossible to achieve 100% feminization even from the most reliable and trusted sources. That’s just a truth of nature. So, to add another item to be checking for when doing your rounds, is any signs of male hemp plants among your crop. If you need help identifying a male from female in real time, reach out to us on social.

  • Prepare For Testing 

With harvest fast approaching, you’re going to need to know how and where to test your plants for their CBD and THC levels. It is recommended that you test your plants well before, and regularly, before harvest to track their levels before final harvest. That way you wont have any unpleasant surprises when harvest finally comes if you’re intending on harvesting for extraction purposes. There are many labs you can find online you can utilize for testing purposes, as well as some universities. Check what is available in your area and what their procedures and costs are. 

  • Show Us What You’re Growing 

Remember to enter for a chance to win prizes all summer long by sharing photos with us via email hello@blueforestfarms.com or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @blueforestfarmsThis is your chance to show off how all of your hard work is paying off! 

Hemp Irrigation

Organic Hemp Farm Irrigation Methods

6000 4000 Blue Forest Farms

Maintaining Your Organic Hemp Farm

There are tons of articles and guides being published on how to properly start and maintain a hemp farm. We’ve published a few ourselves at Blue Forest Farms! The market for these kinds of things is big, with a ton of brand new farmers eager to find a foothold in this booming industry. Yet there are some aspects of growing hemp that get far less attention than others. We’re talking, of course, about irrigation.

Hemp Farming Irrigation

While it might not seem like the most important topic of hemp farming to focus on early, it is absolutely one new farmers should be aware of. Meeting hemp’s water and nutritional requirements can mean the difference between decent and truly high-quality CBD producing hemp. If growing hemp for its CBD content is why you’re farming, irrigation should now be one of your top priorities. If done correctly, proper irrigation can even help you keep your crop THC compliant. Here are a few things every hemp farmer, new and old, should be aware of when it comes to properly irrigating your hemp for success.

Hemp and Water

Hemp is a strong, resilient plant that can adapt to many different environments and weather climates. Even a hemp plant growing in fairly poor conditions still has a good chance of surviving. That said, there is a major difference between surviving and thriving! Keeping hemp healthy, especially when you’re growing it for CBD production is obviously a better goal. Given adequate amounts of water, hemp will grow heavier and have higher and more concentrated cannabinoid levels. Hemp that receives adequate water has a much lower chance of THC spikes that can occur due to dry soil. In general, a crop of hemp needs somewhere around 20 to 30 inches of water each season. Many areas may not get that much rainfall in a season, at least not predictably, which is where irrigation systems come in. Researchers at Colorado State University observed that hemp fields with irrigation systems produced a yield almost three times larger than non-irrigated fields. Yes, you read that right – three times larger!

Drip System

Perhaps the most advantageous irrigation system specifically for CBD hemp farms is the drip system. Drip systems, unlike traditional overhead irrigation systems, water the roots of hemp plants directly through strips that run just under the soil. This is far more efficient in allowing more water to be directly absorbed by the plant, and cuts down on wasted water that evaporates or fails to reach the roots. This system can even reduce your total water consumption by up to 60% in some cases. It also allows for extra nutrients to be added into the drip line, directly feeding the plants far faster and easier than by hand. This system also helps prevent fungus and weed growth as there is little to no excess water and nutrients in the surrounding soil. Finally, the automated nature of a drip system makes the entire watering process simple and easy. Additional sensors can even be installed to fully automate the system and provide water only when needed, no matter how much or little natural rain there is. Drip systems are also fairly simple to install and maintain, so they’re equally suitable for backyard grows and larger farms.

Other Irrigation Options

While drip irrigation is something of the unofficial top choice when it comes to irrigation systems for hemp, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options. If you have an existing irrigation system you can use that on your hemp farm. Let’s talk about the ways other common irrigation systems work for hemp.

Farm Sprinkler Systems

Micro-Sprinklers

Micro-sprinklers are probably the next best system after drip irrigation, and can be installed if irrigation water has a lot of sediment, which might make a drip system unsuitable. They hang just above the hemp,  and only spray in small, contained areas rather than a wide range or through pipes. This keeps water consumption down and reduces evaporation by targeting smaller areas.

Center Pivot System

The center pivot system is another irrigation method. It’s popular and widely used on farms for general irrigation. While it certainly can work for hemp, it is also the least efficient. This system uses a sprayer fixed in the center of the field that can rotate as it sprays to cover the entire crop. These work best on either circular or square-shaped fields, and can be modified to extend the range, if necessary.

Linear Move

Linear move systems are very similar to central pivot, only instead of being fixed in the center, the sprinkler system itself moves across the field as it sprays. These really only work well for rectangular-shaped fields on very flat ground. Both center pivot and linear move systems are somewhat inefficient at water conservation due to a higher evaporation rate than drip or micro sprinklers systems.

Good Irrigation is Good For Everyone!

A good irrigation system can be thought of as being similar to the veins of your body. They are responsible for carrying nutrients to the vital areas – your hemp plants – and keeping them alive and thriving. Certain systems work better under different circumstances. Regardless of which one you choose, the studies all show that an irrigation system can drastically increase your farm’s output and overall quality. After all, a healthier, happier hemp plant is going to be worth far more than one barely surviving or clinging to life. All new farmers should remember to take a close look at irrigation to make sure their farm gets off on the right foot.

Sources:

https://www.fortunahemp.com/hemp-crop-irrigation/

https://www.netafimusa.com/agriculture/solutions-for-your-crop/hemp/

https://pumpbiz.com/blog/irrigation-for-hemp-growers/

https://hempindustrydaily.com/myth-busting-hemp-needs-more-water-than-many-think/

https://www.bonafideseeds.com/industrial-hemp-farming-equipment/

Colorado Hemp Farm

How Much Can You Make Per Acre of Hemp?

2048 1365 Blue Forest Farms

Some of the most common questions on people’s minds when they look at the explosive growth of the hemp industry are: How profitable is hemp? Can hemp make me rich? How much can I make per acre of hemp? In some respects, this is simple to figure out. Estimate the profit per acre by considering how many acres you have to farm and the current market price and subtracting your estimated production costs. An experienced farmer probably knows this stuff off the top of their head, and a simple google search will give you lots of results if you’re just starting out. However, the major factor in how much you can make per acre of hemp is in the purpose of your crop. The three primary products are oils, seed, and fibers, each of which needs to be considered differently when trying to determine how much you can make per acre.

Ways to Make Money Growing Hemp

Fiber

Farming hemp for fiber is the most similar to farming for other crops. The main difference from other crops, as well as from other types of hemp farming, comes post-harvest. In order to process hemp into usable fiber for sale, it must be processed in specialized hemp fiber processing plants. Most farmers will not have access to this equipment and need to consider the costs of either purchasing, building, or paying to have it processed elsewhere. In the field, one acre of hemp can produce around 2.5 to 3 tons worth of fiber. The average price of fiber changes, but is somewhere around $250 to $300 per ton. The actual cost of farming this type of hemp will vary, but an average example would be around $300 to $350 per acre. Using these numbers, the estimated profit could be somewhere around $480 per acre.  Remember, that does not include the cost of post-harvest processing, farming machinery, tools, or the costs to acquire land.

Seeds

Hemp seed has a similar market value as fiber, though seeds are more commonly measured in pounds rather than tons. An average price per pound is in the area of $.060 to $0.65. This may sound like a very small number, however you can expect to harvest around 1,000 pounds of hemp seed per acre of hemp.  Like hemp grown for fiber, the production costs for seed is about $300 to $350 per acre. Doing some quick math, you can expect to make around $250 to $300 per acre when farming for hemp seeds. Again, this does not include any land or equipment costs.

Oil

This is the reason most people have gotten interested in hemp farming lately, and it’s no surprise. Hemp oil, specifically CBD, has been making headlines ever since it started becoming legal to grow. It’s currently one of the fastest-growing, and most highly profitable, industries around. Figuring out how profitable hemp oil actually is, though, is a bit more complicated than for fiber or seed. First, there are two main methods you can use to farm hemp for CBD – agronomic or horticultural. Agronomic is essentially the same as farming hemp as though it were any other crop. This comes with low risk, but also a smaller crop. Horticultural utilizes methods that grow the hemp in specific conditions meant for the cannabis plant. The former is much cheaper, while the latter is more expensive. Horticultural growing is also difficult to scale for most people. Depending on the method used and the amount of CBD produced, one acre of hemp grown for CBD can be worth anywhere between $2,500 and $75,000. The huge range is due to just how variable the difference in the two methods are. In addition, experience as a farmer can put your crop toward the top of that range if you know how to properly grow hemp to maximize CBD percentages. Growing hemp specifically for CBD purposes is more complicated. In addition to the costs for land and equipment, hemp grown for CBD must all be feminized. That means that every year new seeds or clones must be obtained for that season’s planting since your crop won’t produce any seeds of its own.

Hemp Farms Are A Business Opportunity

Still want to get rich on hemp? The opportunities are there, and can come in a wide range of options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Fiber and seed production don’t have quite as high a market value, but are a low risk and reliable product to farm. CBD, on the other hand, is the real money maker in the hemp world. To capitalize on that potential profit, though, a level of risk must be taken. No matter which choice you make, the hemp industry is stronger than ever, and only looking to continue rising as popularity increases. There’s never been a better time to invest your acreage in hemp.

Sources:

https://www.bonafideseeds.com/how-much-can-i-make-hemp-farming-profit-per-acre/

https://hempwave.com/how-much-profit-per-acre-does-hemp-farming-make-on-average/

https://www.agriculture.com/crops/10-common-questions-about-hemp-farming

https://www.fortunahemp.com/average-roi-of-hemp-biomass-per-acre/

Hemp CBD Seeds: Harvest Checklist

3024 4032 Blue Forest Farms

Farmers of industrial hemp might be understandably eager to reap the rewards of their hard work during the growing season, but going straight to harvest is definitely ill-advised and could result in legal issues. Preharvest is one of the key steps in proving that your product is compliant. During the preharvest stage, there are a few crucial steps a farmer must take before they can enjoy this season’s bounty.

While specifics may vary, each state has similar regulations regarding the preharvest process. Because of the THC content requirements surrounding hemp, preharvest testing is fundamental in proving compliance and assuring a stress-free harvest.

Blue Forest Farms devised a general guide for industrial hemp growers in the United States, to help take the confusion out of the preharvest process. If you follow the steps below and make sure to look up your state’s specific legislation, it’s unlikely you will have issues.

organic hemp farm

Steps to Success

  1. Determine Your Harvest Lots and Dates

Know your harvest date! And if you’ve planted more than one field of industrial hemp, know which fields you are going to harvest when. You’ll need to enter this information on your Preharvest Report Form. The actual name of this form can vary by state but typically includes the words “preharvest” and “testing” in the name. Typically, the state Department of Agriculture requires that the form be submitted no more than 30 days before your projected harvest date, and that sampling be completed within 15 days of harvest. However, this timing may vary by state so we recommend visiting the Department of Agriculture website for the state where your hemp field is located.

  1. Fill Out Your Preharvest Report Form

Pre Harvest FormThis form must be completed before your product can be tested. As you might expect, it asks for your name, business name (if applicable), and contact information. Additionally, it also asks for your registration number. This is issued to you after you apply for a hemp grower’s license. If you don’t have one of these, well, I’m no lawyer, so I can’t give you advice there. This form will also ask information about your lots, like location and size, in addition to which strains you wish to sample. Often there’s a section to indicate the lab, which will perform the testing.

Here’s a sample of a typical form. Expect additional pages that explain each field that needs to be filled out. Make sure to strictly follow your state’s guidelines for filling out the Preharvest Report Form.

  1. Send in Your Form

Send your form to your state’s Department of Agriculture. If you need to figure out where to send these forms, the department’s contact information – phone, email, and mailing address – will be on their website.

  1. Samples!

The previous steps were an important preamble to the main preharvest requirement: taking samples of your growing hemp. This procedure can vary significantly by state, so make sure you completely understand what your state requires. Usually, once you send in your report, the Department of Agriculture will assign you a sampling date. Some will send a sampler to your fields, and some will expect you to send your sample to the lab by the date assigned. One important thing to note is the recent legislation changes regarding labs that are authorized to test hemp. During the 2021 hemp farming season, all laboratories testing hemp must be DEA approved and test for total THC, not just Δ9THC.

Hemp Genetic Testing

  1. Results

Once your samples have been processed by the lab, they will contact you with your results, commonly via email. If you’ve started with a strain with good genetics, and you’ve followed farming best practices, you should receive good news. But, anything that tests over .3% THC will have to be destroyed and anything testing at or above .5% could lead to legal penalties. Once you’ve received your compliant results, it’s time for the fun part – harvest!

Preharvest testing may seem like a daunting process but it is really just a matter of accurate timing and paperwork – fun! You can always use the paperwork as a chance to get off your feet… It is essential that you make sure to sample within 15 days of harvest, as CBD and THC levels continue to change with certain factors like sun and heat as the plants mature. After all your hard work, sit back, relax, and prepare for harvest.

Sources:

https://www.westword.com/marijuana/deas-involvement-in-hemp-worrisome-to-colorado-farmers-11617685

https://hempindustrydaily.com/usda-national-thc-test-for-hemp-as-challenging-as-you-think-it-is/

https://www.sclabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Hemp-California-Pre-Harvest-IS-MKT0005.pdf

https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/Hemp/SamplingProtocol.pdf

Healthy High Grade Hemp Grow Starts With Germination

5472 3648 Blue Forest Farms

hemp plant germination

Picture this: Your Blue Forest Farms seeds have just arrived in the mail. You eagerly rip open the package. It’s beautiful seeds galore! Immediately, images of hemp fields start to dance in your head. The scent of various terpenes waft into your nose. But wait…you’re getting ahead of yourself. There are a few steps you need to take before you can go from an envelope of seeds to emerald fields.

Today, we are going to talk about just one of those steps: Germination. Hemp Seed germination, or germination of any plants you want to grow is the process of taking the seed from it’s dormant stage to it’s development stage. Germinating your seeds before planting them is an important first step to ensure that the majority of your plants do well once they get into the field.

Our seeds consistently perform well with germination. We’re proud to be seeing germination rate reports from our partner fields this year of 95-100% in some cases.

If you did not purchase your seeds from BFF, we recommend you inspect your seeds for quality. Here are three things you should look for:

High-Grade Quality Hemp Seeds

Color

A healthy seed will be dark brown, black, and/or gray. The dark color is often contrasted by lighter stripes or spots. If any of your seeds appear green or white, they are not fully matured and will not sprout.

Hardness

Healthy seeds should feel hard when squeezed between your fingers. If a seed has cracks or crumbles under pressure, it is unlikely that it will germinate.

Shine

Healthy seeds have a waxy coating so look for a noticeable sheen.

Healthy Hemp Seeds

If you are concerned about the germination rate of your seeds, you can test them. However, you will need to germinate them immediately after the test is completed to avoid rot, or you can just test a few and discard them. This will give you a sense of the percentage of viable seeds that you have. To test your seeds, place them in a cup of lukewarm water and wait for them to sink. This could take a few hours. The seeds that sink will likely sprout and those that float likely will not. Whether or not you choose to perform this test, at some point you’ll be ready to germinate.

Germination Methods

1. Paper Towel Method

This is one of the most popular germination methods. You will need paper towels, distilled water, and two plates. Place your seeds between layers of damp paper towel. Put the paper towel on one plate and cover it with the second, making sure to store the plates in a warm, dark, humid place. We recommend checking the paper towel every day and moistening when needed.

2. Soaking Method

For this method, you will need a jar or cup and some distilled water. First place your seeds in the jar, cover them with warm (not hot) water, and secure the lid. If you are using a cup, you can put a plate over the top instead. Once your jar or cup is prepared, store it in a warm, dark place. Change the water every 2 days.

3. Rooting Plugs and Cubes

This method requires the use of peat moss pellets, rockwool, or any other sort of rooting cube. To use these products, you must soak them in water before inserting the seeds. It is also recommended that you use a planting tray with a humidity dome. Like the above two methods, place the tray in a warm, dark location after inserting the seeds.

4. Just try planting it!

The final method is probably the simplest but comes with a bit more risk if your seeds do not germinate. You can place your seeds directly into your chosen substrate and care for them accordingly. Because your seed is sitting in a large amount of substrate, it will likely be sitting in a large amount of unabsorbed moisture, which increases the risk of rot. If you choose to use this method, make sure not to soak the soil when watering.

Germination Timeframe

So then how long does it take?

Typically, germination takes 3-5 days and is complete within 7 days. You will know your seed is ready to be transplanted when a taproot forms and then you’ll be on your way to those emerald fields. If you don’t want to be tied down with the steps of germination, contact us to learn more about our high grade, fully germinated hemp seedlings and clones. These plants come ready to go into the field and are a great alternative if you’re coming in late in the season as well.

What’s your favorite germination method? Have you had more success with one method more than the others? Are you using a method we haven’t mentioned? Engage with us on social media @blueforestfarms. We love to hear from our BFF family!

Sources:

https://kinder.farm/germination-guide/

https://maryjanesdiary.com/tell-if-cannabis-seed-is-good/

https://www.leafly.com/news/growing/how-to-germinate-cannabis-seeds

https://www.philosopherseeds.com/blog/en/germination-of-cannabis-seeds/

Holding Hemp Plants

Farming Marketing 101

6000 4000 Blue Forest Farms

When you think “farmer,” the  image in your mind might be from childhood books and songs, “Old McDonald had a Farm,” – a person working in the field with a big straw hat and driving a tractor. That might still be true for some, but our Blue Forest Farms farmer partners don’t fit a single mold. And today a successful farmer needs to work just as hard on their marketing strategies as they do outdoors in their fields to be successful. Modern times mean there are way more opportunities for farmers to market directly to their consumers, but also that failing to do so could cause new, or even well established, farmers to struggle or fail. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  1. what does a successful marketing plan look like?
  2. what options exist for farmers to market themselves?
  3. what strategies have proven to be the best investments of your time and resources?

Each farmer is unique, but there are some universal tips that can be applied to help get your business on an upward trajectory.

Hemp Sales Avenues

If you have a farm, especially a small or new one, you know that selling your entire crop is typically the goal. You have that short window after harvest to move your product, and identifying all the possible ways to sell your crop or products will give you the most opportunities to sell out your stock. The simplest solution is obviously direct sales, where you simply set up a structure or location on your property where people can come and purchase directly from you. This has tons of convenience, but obviously relies on your farm being accessible and visible, or having some way to drive traffic to your locale.

Many farmers rely on Farmers Markets, which bring a large number of people to a central location instead of, or in addition to, them coming directly to you. If your farm is within driving distance of a Farmers Market, having a booth or space, especially if you can arrange to be in the same location for each market, can connect you with a pool of ideal customers, and lead to repeat sales just by you showing up. Make sure to distinguish yourself by giving thought to the look of your stand and display, and making sure the name of your farm or products is prominent using a banner or logo. Friendly staff and samples, if appropriate, are other ways to drive traffic to your booth.

Community Supported Agriculture is a fairly recent innovation that gets your wares in the hands of consumers who will appreciate them. CSA shares is a system that individual customers buy into. People agree to support you season by season for a certain dollar amount, for which you will give them an agreed upon amount of your crop on a regular basis. This has the advantage of building your customer base, while also knowing exactly how much money you can expect to make. Finally, speaking to local restaurants or shops can be a very consistent and reliable source of income, even for hemp farmers. Restaurants, chefs, and boutique owners love to access fresh, local ingredients and will often pay well for them.

Be High Grade – Stand Out From The Crowd

You’re eventually going to have to figure out the best platforms for reaching your customers, but first you should determine what makes you and your farm unique. Assume that every potential customer that comes to your site or reads your blog is wondering why they should buy from you instead of someone else. What is unique about you, your farm, or your products that can’t be found elsewhere? Imagine your target demographic and speak to them as directly as possible. Being able to preemptively answer questions or ease concerns will make your customers more eager to purchase from you right away. Finally, a strong logo and tagline can be useful in building your brand. You don’t have to hire an ad company – you are the expert on your farm after all – so think about how to sum up who you are and what you do. Talk to your friends after you come up with some ideas. Logos can be simple, but should clearly represent your business and objectives in a positive way. You want people to feel good about your brand when they see it. Taglines should emphasize the unique qualities of your brand, and be short and memorable. Logos and taglines are all around us. Identify some that strike you and and brainstorm until you find something you think represents your business and goals best.

Marketing is an ever changing landscape. What worked ten years ago won’t today, and what works today may not work tomorrow. The difference between successful businesses and ones that struggle or fail is the ability to adapt and evolve with the trends, while staying true to their core values. Farmers may have one of the oldest professions that exists, but you need to be on the cutting edge with technology if you hope to survive and thrive. These tips should help you get a start in marketing your farm, but marketing is an ongoing process of learning and growing that should not be neglected.

Get Your Name Out There

Now that you’ve figured out your distinctive edge in the landscape of farm products – hemp or otherwise – it’s time to figure out how to get your name out there, especially if you want to grow. Actually, no matter how big or small your farm is, a strong presence on the internet can enhance your business in today’s world. The internet is the first place people go to when searching for everything, even fresh produce or products. Buying locally is a common value these days, and you want your business to show up in those searches and look professional. That means more than having a website, though. Social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are just as important for bringing people to your business. Having all these tools isn’t enough, though, you have to maintain and be active on them, too. Your website should obviously have all the information people need: where you’re located, how to contact you, what your products are, etc, but having a regular blog and posting and communicating on social media regularly will help keep your name relevant when people search. If you have products that can be mailed, that is another easy way to make additional sales.

We may not always like it, but the online world of marketing directly to consumers is here to stay! It’s really not that hard to get started and stay relevant to the ideal consumer of your farm products.

Sources:

https://www.thespruce.com/market-your-small-farm-products-3016897

https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Bulletins/Marketing-Strategies-for-Farmers-and-Ranchers/Text-Version

https://www.hobbyfarms.com/11-steps-to-successful-farm-marketing-2/