While some established farmers might have their own way of harvesting hemp based on the equipment they are using for their primary operation, if you are new to the farm mechanization processes, we will explore with you 5 different ways of harvesting CBD hemp with the pros and cons you have to keep in mind when choosing the equipment that will be making your dream of harvesting CBD hemp on a broad-acre scale come true.
Here's in an overview of 5 different ways to harvest hemp.
This technique consists of cutting the CBD hemp with a disc mower, then letting it dry on the ground, raking the crop in a swath by using a wheel rake, baling it using a typical round baler, moving the bales out of the field using self-loading bale mover and then storing them like you would do with dry hay bales. I don’t have to mention that this is by far the most time-consuming process in labor, and several equipment will be needed to get it done. If you have a large quantity of bales to store, waiting for the right timing for selling your crop, you will have to find a way to keep your crop off the rain by tarping it or storing them under in a barn or under a roof. We do not recommend this approach as the overall process generates to much manipulation, excessive labor and time, and finally your storage solution against the rain will probably run out of space sooner than later.
It consists of chopping the whole plant in short piece using a modified forage harvester. Then you need a fleet of driver and dump boxes which will follow the chopper during the harvesting stage to ensure capturing all the chopped material, blowing it through the chute spout, and then transporting a lot of “air” as the material is not compressed yet. Once delivered to the storage site, a drying system is required to bring down the moisture lower, otherwise you won’t be able to keep the quality of the harvested material and the CBD quality intact. This solution might reveal to be costly considering the drying solution and also shipping this crop out might not be as easy as shipping it in shape of round bale. This second technique is probably the one to avoid.
This technique consists of cutting the CBD hemp with a disc mower, raking the crop in a swath by using a wheel rake, baling it using a typical round baler, moving the bale out of the field using self-loading bale mover, for finally wrapping it with a stationary single wrapper in order to preserve the CBD and protecting it from deterioration. Definitely, wrapping it up seems to be the best way to keep the crop intact over a long period of time, storing it outside at low cost, and waiting for the best buyer and freight opportunity to ship it out.
This technique is not really different then the solution #1. It consists of cutting the hemp with a disc mower, raking it in a swat with a wheel rake, then baling/wrapping in one pass by using a Combination baler/wrapper, then moving those bales out of the field using a pull-type self-loading bale mover design to handle wrapped bales up to the storage site. This method is as good as the method #2, as you have a finished product wrapped against the element.
This technique is quite different as it provides you the ability to reduce the time invested in collecting the plant, and does combine some operations for less time and labor than any other method. It consists of using a Biobaler, which is a round baler but instead of a standard pick-up head, it is equipped with a forestry mulcher that cut, grab and lift the plant of the ground, and feet it into the baler without having been contaminated by dirt. Once the bale has been ejected from the Biobaler, the bales are move out of the field using a self-loading bale mover up to the storage site, where a stationary single bale wrapper will be wrapping your crop till you want to sell it. Same as method #2 and #3, you can easily handle, store and ship the wrapped bales that this process will provide you.
|Method #1||Method #2||Method #3||Method #4||Method #5|
|Labor requirement (simultaneously)|
|Overall processing time|
|Capital investment in equipment|
|Flexibility to use equipment for other purposes|
Low storage cost and flexible/evolutive storage solution with the size of your crop.
If you consider baling your hemp with a traditional round baler or a combination baler/wrapper, we definitely have the products to fit your needs and we invite you to look at www.grpanderson.com for more detail information about those products.
If you are considering a Biobaler to cut and bale in one pass, take a look at several videos available on YouTube by searching “BioBaler” and contact us for more information.
If you wish to harvest your hemp using a forage harvester, modified or not, unfortunately Anderson does not have a solution for you.
We hope to have helped shed some light on this challenging task of harvesting hemp.