South Carolina, one of the many states that are legally allowed to grow and harvest industrial hemp has an interesting way of farming cannabis. We’ve got the inside look on a hi-tech growing breakthrough.
This month, the PG Health team traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, home of the largest apple-producing area, and were given an inside look at the process of cannabis growth. The host of our stay, Eric Berry introduced us to a number of farms that specialize in using hi-tech equipment to aid in the growth and storage portion of hemp farming.
Growth and Seeds
Dating back to its earliest history, hemp (cannabis plant) is one of the oldest crops that have been cultivated. The process of growing hemp requires extensive care and ideal climate aspects to become a cultivation success. The cost of hemp seeds totals $120,000 which includes 5,000-7,000 seeds per acre. Planting starts the third week of May and follows through into the first week of June. From then on, hemp is then transplanted into 40″ rows on flat ground. Like many plants, it requires moisture to set the roots. Being careful not to overwater the cannabis plant, it still requires an adequate amount to continue its life cycle. Weeding is also a concern which requires close attention on a daily basis; including checking for plants that have matured and do not contain pollen sacs. The ration of land per labor to grow and harvest 8 per acre. In order to carry out the plan to successfully cultivate hemp, the following equipment is required:
- Raised bed shaper
- Plastic mulch layers with drip applicators
- Transplanter (a machine used for transplanting seedlings fields) with tray racks
- Plastic mulch retriever
- Bed mower
- Seeds (Hemp certified CBD seeds)
Alongside this, information on the farmer as well approval is required from the department of agriculture before the process can begin.
After harvesting, hemp is transported by trucks in bags and then stored indoors for drying. This includes warehouse floors, dehumidifiers, fans, tobacco farms, sheds, and mechanical dryers. The goal is to keep the area dry, well ventilated and out of direct sunlight. The amount of time the hemp is left to dry is two weeks. In order to avoid the growth of mold and mildew, growers should “break off the individual branches from the hemp plant and hang branches on the drying wire, not whole plants” (George Place of N.C. Cooperative Extension, Catawba County Center).
The process of healthy hemp growth is extensive and high-quality cannabis must originate from successful production. Cannabis farming is increasing more each day and is used for a variety of different purposes including but not limited to medicine, manufacturing, energy, and much more. The hemp plant is more than just its green fixtures but a complex resource.
~ PG Health Team