2019 was a hard year for hemp farmers Part one

It has been a long time since I posted anything on here. I feel very lucky to have a socially distanced job growing plants that keeps my busy and makes me happy.

In 2018, I began this blog and farming with the simple goal of growing some organic hemp and finding a small market for my products. I am still in business (wisconsinhempflower.com) and staying busy packaging and mailing my products all over the United States. I have seen a lot and learned a lot since I began posting on here and want to start to begin sharing a little of what I have learned.

First, I would like to say a word about 2019. I feel it is necessary to say a bit about this year, because it was such an important year in hemp farming. There was a wave of optimism in hemp farming in 2019 that really doesn’t exist anymore, and I find myself reflecting on what happened. In 2019, I was so busy that I didn’t have the time or energy to do much blogging.

Farmers in the spring of 2019 expected to be able to sell their biomass or have it processed into CBD in exchange for approximately 50% of the finished hemp oil. Wholesale distillate cbd oil and crude unrefined cbd oil were still selling briskly in the spring of 2019, and farmers who chose to have their hemp biomass processed in to cbd oil and sell biomass hemp on the wholesale market were expecting to make a significant profit.

Cbd oil processors in the spring and summer of 2019 signed contracts with hemp farmers to process their oil, believing that both sides would make money easily. But, as summer and fall of 2019 progressed, the wholesale price of biomass and extracted cbd oil both began to plummet. And that plummeting has continued all through the winter of 2019 and still continues to fall right now as I write this in November of 2020.

This has meant that all wholesale hemp farmers who grow biomass cbd hemp and processors of cbd oil have had to adapt to a new way of life where the profit margins are very thin or nonexistent. In the fall of 2019, every hemp farmer that I talked to was starting to panic. The spring was a moment of bliss. The fall was a disaster few saw coming.

When I started in 2018, I met many of the local hemp farmers and processors in the Eau Claire area and beyond. Most of the people who I met in 2018 were really nice people with a background in Cannabis who were excited to give hemp a try in their home state of Wisconsin on a small scale. Because of the strict Cannabis laws in Wisconsin, many of the hemp farmers were people like myself who had left the area and worked in Cannabis in other states and were now returning to start small businesses in the communities where they grew up.

But, some of the new cbd people that I met were very different than the small hemp farmers. Out of state consultants, retailers without a background in cannabis, agribusiness farmers and all around shady people were drawn to the new Hemp industry in Wisconsin in 2018. And in 2019 they had grown in size, number, and intensity of greed. Consultants and so called experts were everywhere in the spring of 2019 offering their advice to whoever would listen to them. And all of them had the same advice. “GROW AS MUCH HEMP AS POSSIBLE!”

I was in the middle of all this in 2019. My friends in hemp from 2018 were all excited to expand. I expanded from an easy to manage 1 acre in 2018 to a full 3 acres of hemp in 2019. I wanted to do things on a scale that would challenge myself and to stay busy. If the money was there in the fall to turn a profit on biomass, I wanted to have a little extra to sell. But, my primary focus was growing hemp flower for my business.

Part 2 will follow next week

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