Local farmers experiment with new crop
Hemp plants that were planted the last week of June are now being harvested south of Metter in the Evergreen Community.
H&H Farms of Cobbtown and Second Century Ag of Ocilla partnered to plant 50,000 hemp plants on 28 acres locally.
Brothers Tommie and George Holland of H&H Farms traditionally grow tobacco, but with all the hype about CBG oil and after much research, they decided to include the hemp crop this year along with their tobacco acreage.
“We think we’re going to be okay,” commented George. “We’re fighting worms and two diseases plus the extreme heat this year. They (Second Century) told us we have a good crop, but it’s all new to us.”
The plants are tested to determine when to harvest. The Hollands have three varieties, and harvesting has a narrow window of 15 days.
“We haven’t finished cooking our tobacco, so we’re having to dry both at the same time,” said George.
One of the reasons the Hollands decided to experiment with hemp was that much of the same equipment used for growing tobacco is used in growing and harvesting hemp.
Most of the farmers growing hemp harvest by hand using a machete, but the Hollands prefer large loopers that cut clean and at ground level in one motion.
The hemp plant is then loaded onto a wagon and transported to the drying barns. It it weighed to insure the same amount goes into each barn and then dried for three to four days.
After drying the plants are transferred to a thrasher for the removal of the buds and leaves. These will be then taken to the Second Century facility in Ocilla to process the CBG oil.