After a substantial amount of time in which hemp growers have been basically navigating a grey area regarding the production of hemp, the USDA has finally released some regulations to bring some clarity in this midst of confusion. Indeed, the problem of standardization does not only affect cannabis with a high THC content, but also the variety with a low THC percentage and a high amount of CBD, commonly known as hemp. This is mostly grown outdoors, and thus it can be particularly subject to pathogen pressure. This is why Larry Nagle, licensed producer in the state of Pennsylvania, was concerned about the lack of regulations within the hemp space. “Compared to the THC space, the CBD side comes off as pretty much of a Wild West Show,” he says. “This plant is supposed to treat people in need, it is for human consumption. A cannabis plant absorbs toxins from the soil, so it is very important to make sure that the crop is safe.”
The issue of consistency
Therefore, Larry points out that a lot of growers have been struggling with growing a consistent product without any harmful chemical residue in it. “There is an extreme need for some sort of standardization of operational practices,” he says. “Not only with regards to growing, but also with regards to seeds, as outdoor hemp growing starts with seeds.” Indeed, he points out that the high CBD genetics are very new, and there is a lack of regulation even within this aspect of the industry. “In a way, seed sources have all the CBD industry at their mercy. Even major hemp producers have experienced an inconsistency in performance, exactly because of the inconsistent starting material.”
According to him, high and consistent quality can be produced only through better genetics. “These would also help you with better control of pathogens. Though, of course, genetics only are not enough.” Indeed, Larry says that he has not encountered any problems with his crop exactly because of the constant maintenance program. “I combine my IPM programs with nutrients, and I carry those out on a consistent basis. This is the main reason why I’ve never encountered any serious issues,” he explains. “With regards to outdoors, we raise the bed culture with plastic – we isolate the soil. Then, we carry out a very meticulous irrigation and fertigation program, to the point that I do not need any weed control because this just does not occur. Because if you keep everything under control, you don’t need to use any toxic product.” Then, we carry out a very meticulous irrigation and fertigation program, that in conjunction with sod cover in between the rows which alleviates any need for additional weed control.
The importance of SOPs
Larry, emphasizes the importance of good SOPs: “What a grower needs is good organic preventive measures, which ensures a clean good end product.” This is why Larry, uses Clean Crop Solutions, www.cleancropsolutions.com, a natural solution that enhances the plant’s systemic acquired resistance mechanism, making it stronger and able to fight pathogens. “Clean Crop Solutions, is a Colloidal solution that does not contain any petroleum solvents, caustics, phosphates, nitrates, or silicates. It has no adverse side effects for humans or animals. The Colloidal Solution contains sub-microscopic particles called micelles, the true force of this solution.” It can also be used as a soil conditioner. It also protects the plants, from the Extreme Environmental Conditions, for all Agriculture Crops, and indoor operations. Larry, experienced mid 20's degree temps, back in October, with minimum damage.
Crop protection and education
Larry, uses Clean Crop Solutions, also in his greenhouses, where he grows clones that will be transplanted outdoors. “The important thing about organic solutions, is that you need to apply them with a constant regime,” he explains. “You need to be proactive, not reactive.” Larry, sprays clones with Clean Crop Solutions, products and says he noticed almost zero mold and mildew. “Keep in mind that I also use it throughout the cycle of the plant, and the results are just incredible.”
The only way to prevent growers from resorting to toxic, and potentially poisonous, solutions is through education and standardization. “It is of the utmost importance to educate growers about the danger of using chemical crop protection solutions,” he explains. “It is crucial to teach them that there are answers out there that can be organic, and safe for both humans and plants. For this reason, I have established a school where we hope to build more growers, and make them aware of the problems in the industry, and the potential solutions to these. The more we come together, the more we can come up with standards, thus allowing everyone in the sector to thrive.”
For more information:
Clean Crop Solutions
Cannabis College of America
324 Barney Road
Julian, PA 16844