Our Goal for Hemp Breeding Standards
Over the course of several years and extensive field trials, one of the main observations we have made is that the hemp industry’s breeding standards are inconsistent. This may seem insignificant, but when you’re a farmer asking yourself questions like how many pounds is an acre of hemp? Or how much money can you make per acre of hemp? Using a proven process seed that has been genetically bred for consistency empowers you to make the decision about what the best hemp seeds to buy will be.
For the most part, we have seen that the majority of high-quality hemp seeds are properly feminized, but the broader problem facing the industry is the lack of phenotypic consistency, such as size. This challenge has become a primary goal for blue forest farms to accomplish in 2020.
To achieve this goal we utilize specific tools such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing and third-party genetic sequencing, which are cutting edge genetic marker testing technologies. Working with companies like Medicinal Genomics who have been spearheading much of the genetic research on cannabis we’ve seen much success. These advanced systems allow us to look at not only the known traits of a plant but gives us the potential to identify new genetic markers and traits. PCR testing specifically allows us to identify plants that show specific genetic markers. Then we process a sample of live plant tissue and make quantified determinations for specific genetic markers.
That knowledge is extremely valuable when we apply it to known markers in CBDa and THCa production to develop genetics that fall within the rigorous compliance standards.
Our Hemp Breeding Program
Blue Forest Farms is constantly pushing the industry forward. In 2020 we reached best-in-class ratios of 28-1 CBD to THC, and are already achieving 31-1 in our strains, which will provide farmers using our product the best opportunity to produce high-quality biomass that still falls within compliance limits. Looking forward, we are aiming to achieve rations of 50-1 or better for our strains for 2021.
Our improvements are focused on the Queen Dream and Hot Blonde family, which includes our Cloud Fairy, Cinderella Story, and Cherry Blonde strains. We chose this family of strains after testing around 30 different varieties we had in our fields last year. Queen Dream in particular was exhibiting advantages both in the field and in post-harvest processing, with specific potential in moist climates and with center pivot irrigation systems. Further tests, where we observed
50 acres of Queen Dream, alongside a number of other strains, on a center pivot irrigation system revealed further advantages in how it grows, and the profile it develops in relation to mold resistance and antenna moisture in Western climates. This is all in addition to our efforts to improve our unique cannabinoid collection, with focus on CBG, CBDV, and other cannabinoids that are growing in popularity for their therapeutic applications.
Our hemp breeding program begins on our all organic farms with field trials. We put our plant material through our own post-harvest processing facility which gives us a breakdown of that plant’s yield efficiencies, performance, and outcomes. We then have our testing facility analyze the plant material and extracts for different chemical compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as the DNA and genetic markers.
In 2020 we plan to expand to do our own in-house sequencing and produce our CBD hemp seeds with our partners at Botany Lane Greenhouse, who have been growing a wide range of delicate, difficult, and ornamental plants for decades. We already co-operate nearly half a million square feet of space in their facility. The care they provide, along with our genetics, produce visibly healthy, green, and strong plants ready to be shipped out to our consumers.
What Sets BFF Apart in the Hemp Industry
Our organic quality and efforts to solve industry-wide problems and challenges make us unique in the hemp world. We began gaining experience farming hemp, growing with the sudden growth the industry saw, specifically in Colorado, and grew our breeding program in a way that raises industry standards.
We continue to work toward improving our processes and hemp products through partnerships with universities all across the country that help us do field trials in different climates, utilizing new and different planting and harvesting methodologies, in order to learn how we can further optimize these factors.
In the end, it is our consumers who we care most about, the farmers we partner with and build trusting relationships with. We strive to prove that we are there to help them succeed, overcome whatever challenges they may be facing, and help bring this amazing plant to as many communities as possible.
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