HEMP AGRONOMICS & INDUSTRY STANDARDS

 

NWG 2730 Hemp Field CO22NWG 2730 in Colorado 071522

Hemp is produced for grain, fiber and cannabinoids. Production of grain and fiber has been done commercially using modern agricultural methods for decades. Production of cannabinoids (e.g. flower) has developed and two principal methods of production have emerged. As a genetics provider, it is imperative that we breed varieties suited to the industry standards for production methods, so we monitor developments in not only production equipment, but also in processing equipment and end market traits so we can develop the best, highest returning genetics for each product pipeline – grain, fiber, and cannabinoids.

Agronomic Excellence Program

We bring learned experience from across the US to each new season, and share our expertise so you can avoid problems and reap the highest potential yields!

When you purchase NWG seed, you not only access genetics backed by the longest running US hemp breeding and seed production program, you also receive personalized support from experienced agronomists. With more than 50 years of experience across crops and in hemp since 2014, our agronomic team offers easily accessible support to ensure customers succeed. Qualified New West Genetics seed customers receive a comprehensive agronomic support package. Among other support, we provide:

  • Agronomic Excellence Producer Portal
    • Field data
    • Equipment Settings
    • Timelines & checklists
    • Demonstration photos & videos
  • Live Webinars
    • Held Pre-Season
    • Field Selection, planting, weed control, maturity & harvest.
  • Individual Consultation
    • On-call agronomic advice via phone or video

Topics include planting density, weed control, production timing, equipment for production and post processing, storage, harvest indicators, inputs, and regional/environmental adjustments. Complementary with orders of 40 acres or more.

PRODUCER PORTAL

“ABOUND hemp genetics give experienced row crop farmers an easy transition to add hemp to their rotation while utilizing existing equipment.”

-Daniel Willis, Director of Agronomy

HEMP PRODUCTION

Multi-Purpose Production

Multi-purpose hemp production is managed like other common row crops. We have extensive experience with multi-purpose cropping, because we breed all parts of the plant. From small scale breeding plots to our large scale seed production fields we have learned best practices over the years. We share our extensive agronomic expertise with customers and partners interested in agronomic support services.

Multi-purpose production methods are determined by the primary product or the product with highest contract value. Production methods are adjusted to maximize yield for the primary product, and other parts of the plant become monetized co-products.  These products still have value, but yields are reduced to favor the product with the highest contract value. There are tradeoffs, but this approach to production achieves the highest profits for farmers.

Single Purpose Production

Single purpose production of hemp is generally manageable, and comparable to other row crops.  For single purpose grain or fiber, farmers’ existing equipment (planters, combines, swathers, and balers) can be slightly modified and used successfully.  For flower production, we recommend equipment to preserve the cannabinoid content through mechanical threshing.

GRAIN

  • Grain production is straightforward for experienced row crop farmers. Unlike most row crops grown in the United States, hemp is generally harvested before the plants have fully dried. Producers use grain drying equipment to reach a stable moisture and preserve quality. Most existing equipment works well, but may require a few on-farm modifications for optimal operation.
Premium NWG Hemp Seed

FIBER

  • Hemp stalks are harvested for bast and/or hurd components. Bast fibers are natural cellulosic fibers found in the phloem of the stalk. These long string-like fibers are used for products like textiles. Hemp hurd fibers (also called shives) are the inner core fibers of the hemp stalk and are used in bio-plastics, hempcrete and animal bedding.
  • Production of hemp for bast and hurd is similar to grain production. Genetics can improve uniformity of smaller diameter stems to achieve a higher ratio of bast to hurd. Ask about NWG EliteBast varieties!
  • Harvest varies depending on the end product, and whether grown for stalk only or as a dual-purpose crop for grain and fiber. Fiber only crops are harvested with forage equipment, where the crop is cut, dried and baled. In the case of a dual-purpose crop, the colas are direct-harvested for grain prior to cutting, drying and baling the standing stalk.
  • Resources for more information on fiber production: www.hemptrade.ca/eguide
ABOUND fiber forward hemp variety

CANNABINOID (FLOWER) PRODUCTION

  • NWG breeds row crop style genetics with enhanced CBD for mechanical cultivation, so that farmers can take advantage of markets for three hemp products – grain, flower, and stalk. The decreasing price per pound of CBD means small margins for the high cost of manual labor.
  • Dioecious cultivars optimized for cannabinoid production is the only economical approach to scaling production of these valuable compounds.
  • Innovation in harvest methods will continue to improve yields, but regardless of methods, our hemp seed genetics provide farmers with a low-risk, high yielding crop.
  • Two distinct means of flower production are:
    • Use a “bushy” type genetic – e.g. feminized seed or clones that are more manually intensive methods.
    • Use a “bulb” type genetics – usually dioecious that can be mechanically harvested.

“Two important parts of New West Genetics’ mission is to create varieties that can take advantage of farmers’ existing equipment and meet current market needs.”

-Dr. Rich Fletcher, CTO

New West Genetics Mechanical Hemp Cultivation

INDUSTRY PARTNERS