Uh Oh Dorothy

Sep 17, 2019

Hemp Crops & Hurricanes: Dorian’s Industry Impact

Fall’s approach. An exciting time for those interested in the planting, growing, and distribution of hemp flower. People in the farming and retail industry – as well as the general enthusiast – wait with bated breath to see what each new harvest season will bring.

What new hemp strains have emerged? Which strains from past years have improved? How have the aesthetics, such as flavor and/or bud size, been mastered? And ultimately, what CBD percentages – and which cannabinoids – do the new strains contain?

Hurricane Dorian could drastically change those answers, compared to a few weeks ago. The fly in the CBD ointment is that hemp plant harvest season and the Atlantic basin’s hurricane season occur at the same time. The recent weather disaster could result in a farmer’s nightmare.

Oh No, Not Yet!

The majority of crops weren’t ready to harvest. Crops that were ready wouldn’t have had the extra manpower needed to reap fields before the winds and water arrived. Growers with undeveloped plants will have to be on high alert for moisture problems. Mold and mildew are a plague to flowering crops, and are a serious concern as remaining crops complete the blooming process.

Hemp strains which farmers were relying on as 2019’s standouts may be crucially altered. If the mandated Department of Agriculture testing shows residual evidence of fungal contamination, crops will be deemed unusable and destroyed.

The time table of post-harvest drying and curing will now be more difficult to assess. Hurricanes introduce rains and flooding, and create unnatural water amounts and patterns. Moisture within the walls of storing and curing facilities can also alter cannabidiol and CBD content, and can create humidity issues that are difficult to control. The remainder of this season will be a delicate dance of skill and timing to ensure product quality wasn’t injured by the rough winds and increased water.

The Southeastern United States is rapidly expanding in industrial hemp cultivation, and hurricanes like Dorian carry a heavy impact. The majority of North Carolina hemp acreage is towards the eastern seaboard. Hopefully, their several years of experience and their significant number of licensed growers means more plants will survive. However, several farms haven’t fully recovered from 2018’s hurricane destruction. South Carolina is only in their second year of hemp cultivation, but will still likely yield more usable plants than Florida. By allowing industrial hemp growth just this year, Florida’s will have less plants to lose. Their “late entry” into commercial cultivation may be fortunate, after all.

The raucous voices normally heard during pre-harvest celebrations will now be reduced to murmurs as the next weeks (to months) reveal the answer to the big question… How’s the Hemp??

But There’s No Shortage Here

We can’t linger around preoccupied with flower not yet on the market, however. There is no shortage of remaining hemp bud. Delectable strains, with variety in both CBD content and cannabinoid profile, can still be found at your favorite dispensary.

This year supplied us with outstanding CBD strains like Durban Potion (with its earthy musk and creative vibe), and sweetly tropical Sunset Road (providing a pleasant calmness which assists sleep). These and other strains are nestled safely on a shelf, outside of the hurricane’s aftermath. They are waiting to be taken home and enjoyed – to help us weather the storms of life.

Interested in learning more about CBD flower and other products offered at Grass Roots Health? Stop by our store on MLK in Chattanooga, or contact us with questions.

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