Harvesting and Processing may be Expensive Lessons for this Year’s new Hemp Farmers (HarvestIndustryDaily).
Congress legalized hemp to bring a new crop to farmers hurting from depressed markets, low prices and crop tariffs.
But with hemp acreage up more than 300% this year, according to industry advocates, the crop that was meant to help could actually end up driving small farmers out of the business.
(Reminds us of when stock-brokers did a mass exodus from the industry in 2008 and entered mortgage industry just as it blew up, so sad.)
“My prediction is that there will be a 95% attrition rate at the farm level when these economic conditions materialize at the end of the year,” said Michael Brubeck, CEO of Centuria, a hemp processor and extraction company based in Carson City, Nevada.
More interesting quotes:
Hemp farmers, consultants and processors told Hemp Industry Daily they are seeing an oversupply of the crop that may not make it out of the fields. That’s because many inexperienced farmers:
- Didn’t make harvest plans.
- Found hemp to be more challenging to produce and harvest than expected.
- Didn’t have a contract to sell their crops
“This (season) was a combination of ignorance, arrogance and greed,” Jarboe said.
Assuming new farmers did make it through the season with all its challenges – from inconsistent genetics to extreme weather and a labor shortage – some processors reneging on contracts and prices were the last straw, he said.