Hemp Production Offers Farmers Incredible Opportunity According to Industry Pioneer Herb's HerbsMon, 08 Apr 2019 11:59:11 CDT
During the 2019 Oklahoma City Farm Show, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught up with Herbert Suehring, the “Herb” in Herb’s Herbs - Oklahoma’s largest and oldest family-owned greenhouse operation and a pioneer in the state’s emerging hemp industry. He shared with Horn his perspective on the growing interest in hemp production and the potential opportunity it presents local farmers. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“We’ve seen a lot of interest in hemp and a lot of it is because of the return per acre,” Suehring said. “It’s just unbelievable - we’re talking $50,000 to $100,000 an acre return.”
Despite the lucrative potential hemp offers, Suehring says many farmers who approach him for advice are hesitant about the process involved to become a legally licensed grower.
“One of the concerns is how to license themselves. It really is an issue that’s a roadblock,” he explained. “When I say you have to go to a university to get a sponsorship - they stop right there. But, once you get the letter of support from the college, it’s a real simple process and takes 30 days.”
The biggest concern farmers should have, in Suehring’s mind, is not getting licensed but rather getting the crop in the ground before the optimal planting window closes. He says the best time to plant is by June 1 and no later than June 15. With the licensing process taking about 30 days to complete, he says farmers need to make haste in getting established if they hope to get their crop in the ground before this soon to arrive deadline.
Once it is in the ground though, Suehring says it is a relatively easy crop to grow, one of the most attractive aspects of it. With a little nitrogen and proper spacing, he says hemp grows “like a weed,” requiring little moisture or effort to be a success. And, the crop’s profit potential is quite alluring.
“We feel it’s really an opportunity for our local farmers to make a phenomenal return per acre,” he remarked enthusiastically. “The sky is the limit. If you have interest and you have energy - you’re going to make money.”
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