It All Starts With a Hemp Seed
Hemp plants with the right genetics are important to us. Last week on the blog we talked about the soil food web. While adhering to the soil food web is certainly paramount in cultivating quality plants, another area we heavily focus on is plant genetics. This is because certain strains of hemp grow better in given areas. For example, there are some strains that will thrive in the pacific northwest, and might not do so well in the southeast. And vice versa.
Here at Haygood Farms, we’re proud of where we source our genetics. These companies are Rushford Genetics, NBS Agtech, and another business called Phytonyx. All three companies have been astounding to work with, and have helped us wonderfully in growing hemp to perfection.
One individual we love working with is a guy named Tony Rushford. If you’ve read the article from our blog, Haygood’s Tried and Tested Genetics, then you already know a bit about Tony. Tony has been collecting hemp and cannabis seeds since he was a child. Now, he’s arguably the world’s leading expert in hemp genetics. There are few people out there like him. He once said, “The Hemp revolution has started. It’s like an unstoppable train and we should all keep moving forward.” Well, if the hemp revolution is an unstoppable train, then he is without a doubt sitting in the conductor’s seat.
So, let’s dive into the specifics of how quality genetics serve both the interest of us and our customers.
Hemp Plants With Mold Resistance
Like all plants, growers need to keep a vigilant eye on their hemp to check for mold. But saying mold to a grower of hemp or cannabis is like summoning the devil. And why are growers so wary of it? Because often growers will go through the entire season without any issues. Finally, after months of labor, they will realize that the riskiest time for their plants to fall prey to this fungal disease is shortly before harvest and while the crops are being dried. Once mold has infested a bud, there is little anyone can do to save it.
The types of mold that hemp plants are most susceptible to are powdery mildew and grey mold. When Rushford Genetics, for example, is synthesizing a new seed, they factor in if the area the seed is being grown. So, since the southwest tends to have high humidity rates, the seeds we have purchased from tony have been designed for this type of environment. Also, we’re careful to not grow strains with a high ratio of leaves to bud as high foliage plants often receive inadequate amounts of airflow. The buds are then not able to release moisture as easily.
Tony and Phytonyx, another great company, have done an incredible job in working with Haygood Farms to help us determine what cultivars will bring us a high chance of success. Because of the incredible genotypes provided for us, we are able to grow one hundred percent organic hemp and still avoid fungal diseases. We’ve got some amazing strains of hemp flower like our Master Kush which comes from Rushford Genetics and Frosted Lime Phenotypes from Phytonyx.
“The Hemp revolution has started. It’s like an unstoppable tain and we should all keep moving forward.” -Tony Rushford
Avoiding the Use of Pesticides on Hemp Plants
If you read our last blog, Why Organic Growing is Awesome: An Introduction Into the Soil Food Web, then you’ll know we don’t use pesticides. There are all kinds of pests from insects and mites, to birds. Even deer have been known to prey on hemp plants. And Certain pests are more common in some areas than others.
Knowing what types of pests pose a risk to your plants is certainly important. However, it’s more helpful to understand that nature has its own form of pest deterrent. These chemicals are what we call terpenes. The same compounds that are responsible for giving hemp and cannabis it’s delightful fragrance also deters all kind of pests. Both Rushford Genetics and Phytonyx have found that certain strains have terpene profiles that deter pests more than others.
In fact, terpenes in some cases have been so effective at fighting pests, that essential oils have been used as a natural pest deterrent. A research article from sciencedirect.com reads, “Recent investigations in several countries confirm that some plant essential oils not only repel insects, but have contact and fumigant insecticidal actions against specific pests, and fungicidal actions against some important plant pathogens.” Haygood Farms is well aware of how effective terpenes are in pest control. We work with nature, not against it.
Companies like Rushford Genetics and N BS Agtech are in the lead in creating pest-resistant strains. They understand that the types of pests that reside from area to area vary. Therefore, Tony has created strains with terpene profiles that are best suited for Haygood Farms.
As you might know, terpenes and essential oils also have the ability to promote relaxation. This why Haygood Farms crafts full-spectrum CBD oils and salves so you can get the most beneficial experience from CBD.
Since the 2018 farm bill was passed, the CBD industry has taken off like Paul Revere. However, while this is certainly an auspicious thing in some ways, many new farmers have very little knowledge of genetics. Thus, they don’t understand that by using high-grade hemp seeds, their plants will naturally deter pests and avoid diseases. This is not the case with us. We pay close attention to what our friends Rushford Genetics and Phytonyx have taught us.
Hershel Weeks, PHD. in agricultural sciences said, ““Tony has this vision to be able to go through a large greenhouse. He will zone in on one flower and see its unique value. He is looking at this naturally occurring compound CBD.” Few people know genetics like Tony does. Our phenotypes come from Tony’s companies and are other friends, Phytonyx, have turned out magnificently for our farm.
We’re having a great summer here at the farm. We hope you’re having one as well. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all our blogs!