Exploring opportunities with industrial hemp

Hemp production is giving farmers who are struggling to make a profit an opportunity to diversify their revenue streams. 

Bodhi Urban, the owner of Colorado-based HGH Seed, the nation’s first certified hemp farm, says farmers can start making a profit from the beginning.  “It’s a little more upfront investment on the seed itself,” he says.  “But right now we’re seeing the prices range anywhere from $20 to $100 per pound – depending on how it was harvested.” 

Which is significantly more than what traditional corn and soybean farmers are making right now.  “If they’re lucky they’re seeing a few hundred bucks per acre and this allows them to profit at least 10-fold that when growing with our seed.”

He tells Brownfield one of the challenges for farmers is the shortage of high quality, reputable genetics.  “There is a lot of seed that is being marketed as feminized that is actually regular seed,” he says.  “That means you’ll generally have about 50 percent males in your population of seedstock.  That really doesn’t allow the farmer to grow what’s considered a seedless hemp flower crop.”

Urban says he’s seen demand for seed increase exponentially with production growing in states like Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oregon, California, and Kentucky. 

Some hemp farms focus on the production of cannabidiol (CBD) for the oils, health and wellness products, etc., while others produce industrial hemp that can be used from making everything from biodegradable plastics – to paper, soap, and clothing. 

AUDIO: Bodhi Urban, HGH Seed Inc.

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