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.
Read on to learn more about how much money you can make growing hemp depending on a number of factors.
How to Make Money Growing Hemp
First, let’s cover how to make money with hemp. There are a number of products you can create all with different operating costs and profit margins.
While there’s no one answer to how much CBD farmers make, this can give you an idea.
Farming Hemp for Fiber
How Much Per Acre of Hemp Fiber?
Farming hemp crop 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 plant 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.
Farming Hemp for Seeds
How Much Per Acre of Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seed has a similar market value as fiber, though seeds are more commonly measured in pounds rather than tons in the hemp market. 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 an average yield 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.
Farming Hemp for Oil
How Much Per Acre of Hemp Oil?
This is the reason most people have gotten interested in hemp farming lately, and it’s no surprise. Hemp oil, specifically CBD oil, 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 between the two methods is.
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 when it comes time to harvest CBD oil. 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.
What are the Other Costs of Farming Hemp?
While the above can give you an idea of how much per acre of hemp you can grow to expect a profit, it’s also important to keep other costs in mind.
This includes a variety of start-up costs, most importantly, the cost of your seeds. You will want to find high-quality seeds that will yield the most product, and you may also want to consider if you’re putting in starts or direct seeding. Both options offer unique benefits when it comes to cost, maintenance, and more.
If you’re putting in direct seeds, you will want to plant 5,000 to 10,000 an acre to help with weeds. For starters, however, you should place around 3,500 plants per acre. Keep in mind your space limitations and the poundage you expect to get off the acre.
Then there are production costs to consider. As mentioned, equipment can be expensive and you should always factor this into which crop you decide to plant.
Hemp Planting Techniques To Consider
How much hemp farmers make per acre also depends on how they plant their crop. You can choose to either plant your hemp plants tight or loosely, and there are pros and cons to each:
As the name suggests, planting your hemp tightly is a great way to maximize your space for production. You can plant more hemp per acre and therefore increase how much your acre of hemp is worth.
While this method is about planting as many seeds as possible, you still want to take spacing into account. It’s essential to plan for proper spacing to ensure your hemp has enough room to grow and fill in while getting the nutrients it needs to thrive.
It’s recommended to space your hemp plants anywhere from 24-72 inches apart on center depending on the variety. Also keep climate in mind, since more humid conditions can lead to mold in tightly grown fields that can be difficult to spot.
Planting your hemp to be more spaced out also has its benefits. If you want to give your plants maximum nutrients and superior airflow, spacing them out is a great way to help them grow healthy and strong.
Keeping your plants spread out also makes it easier to care for them and identify any ones that should be culled. While you may think this would decrease how much your hemp pays per acre, it could produce a higher-quality crop that would increase your profits overall.
As you can see, how much 1 acre of hemp is worth depends on many factors, including how you plant your field.
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 its 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 and hemp extracts, on the other hand, are the real money makers 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.
Learn more about how Blue Forest Farms can help you grow quality hemp.