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Ask Me Anything: June 27th at 11 AM MT with Farmer Dan

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Growers Network is hosting an Ask Me Anything event with master grower Farmer Dan of Bosmere Farms, Inc. on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 at 11 AM MT!

About Farmer Dan:

Farmer Dan is going to be featured on the cover of Cannabis Business Times (@cbt)! The article is about bootstrapping business, Jack-of-all-trades-style, but also finding your best fit in the market, and cutting production costs as low as possible by not reinventing the wheel and using the past 12,000+ years of agricultural history as a production model.

Questions can also be focused on conventional vs organic agriculture and/or about the trials and tribulations of starting a business on a budget without investors. He is open to just about anything growing/business related.

Contact info:

Reach out to @Farmer_Dan on the community. Feel free to @ tag him in your questions to alert him beyond the AMA!

You’re welcome to start posting questions now for Farmer Dan and we look forward to seeing the community at the AMA!


(P.S. My fingers kept slipping when I typed “Farmer Dan” and kept coming out as “Farmer Dab.” Not a bad nickname huh?)

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That is a fairly accurate nickname considering that I mostly stick to concentrates these days. I also grow an oil crop only. :rofl:

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Thanks for the invite, I can’t wait to answer questions about agriculture. I spent a number of years teaching agriculture at Oregon State University (Forage Production) and Silverton High School (intro to ag, plants, animals, woods, metals, and FFA), so this will be like old times.

I love my ladies out in the field, they’re good listeners, but they are not conversationalists.

If anyone would like a quick rundown of what I do, I have been posting a out this years grow right here on GN: https://forum.growersnetwork.org/t/conventional-field-production/9590/105?u=farmer_dan

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I am so excited to see this!

You already have such a great thread going @Farmer_Dan about your methods that I can only imagine how you’re going to top it! :slight_smile:

I will be watching and reading for sure!

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I probably won’t top it, :wink: but I will try my best to answer any burning questions the folks here at GN may have about incorporating more traditional forms of agricultural systems into cannabis production (or vice versa).

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I really enjoy your thread and look forward to the AMA tomorrow!

What would be the most important pieces of equipment to invest in when starting in field production (either conventional or organic)?

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What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter this field full time? I’m located in Ontario Canada. Thanks for your time

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“…and 12,000 years of ag history.” — Perfect!

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A tractor!

I get the work of 10 people done by myself and my tractor.

Mine is a 30HP Kubota and cost $15,000, used with 600hrs, and came with a mower, box scraper, backhoe, and box tiller. I bought a new hiller/beeder for $850, and I found an old 2 bottom plow for $250 on craigslist. I also bought a spade for $2500 for deep tillage, it requires a 45HP tractor that I borrow from my neighbor. If i didn’t have the best neighbor in the world, I would have to rent one for about $800. I only need the tractor for about 4 hours to spade.

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Cannabis is a wonderful plant, my favorite plant, but it is still just a plant. I am always telling people to stop trying to reinvent the wheel. It can get expensive. R&D is great, I just advocate a firm budget with experiments.

I started with lofty organic goals, but ended up falling back on my agricultural education for Oregon State University when it wasn’t paying off for me. I took many field production and greenhouse production classes. These are all large scale commercial production classes. The agricultural universities know how to produce a product at the lowest cost for the highest yield. I often look to them for questions on disease management, soil management, testing, and general propagation information.

Note: I am not bashing Organic/Certified Green. Organic works and provides a marketing angle and adds value for the retail level, but not in the wholesale commodity level. The label Organic doesn’t transfer to processors unless the processors have it as well, mine does not. If my customer/processor began wanting organic and was willing to pay a premium for the cost of fertilizer and reduced yield, I would certainly revisit the Organic side of production.

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Thanks for the reply. I noticed in the intro its mentioned you were able to get started without any investors? How was this accomplished and were there any lessons or knowledge that others could apply?

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This question should be answered in the July issue of Cannabis Business Times, along with a full cost breakdown, and how we managed to DIY from Day 1. I don’t want to give too many spoilers away, I hope that is okay. If you have more specific questions about financing after the articles runs, by all means send me a message.

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Start up capital and operating costs aside, what reasons did you have for growing outdoor vs. indoor?

If you had the ability to set a budget at any rate to suit your needs, and be able to receive that capital through an investment (hypothetically), would you do anything different?

Where do you see your crops in 5 years from now?

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I am currently in this position ,and am attempting to get investors for a small farm in New England with potential for expansion in Jamaica thru personal contacts and family. This has become extremely difficult as the laws are continuing to change and dates of legalisation changing here for recreational sales and extremely high licence fees ,with that said can you suggest any people places or things that might help someone like myself ,with 20 yrs growing and a master grower certification get the investment opportunities or how to go about it with out investment

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Especially here in MA with 12 plant total counts

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Will it be revorded for a replay? Unfortunately I will be in the hyperbaric oxygen tank at that time, but will try to listen if I am able too.

Regards

Suzanne

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Thank you! What you do is very inspiring! A quick question. When is the best time to feed the plants? Early in the morning?

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I have been told that our plants are loaded with terpenes. This may be due to the harsher outdoor conditions. Overall, if I were shooting for the dried flower market, and I had the capital, I would grow indoor in a shaded, light-dep, environmentally controlled greenhouse (I’d still want to keep costs low, but would also want to strive for the indoor bag appeal).

I enjoy growing cannabis, I always have. I disliked the process of selling, I’m not much of a salesman. I really like not having to hustle to sell cannabis, but had I had the capital, I would have shot for the moon.

Much like most of my life, I have felt that I have been drawn in a certain direction, and it has yet to disappoint me. I think that where I am, is where I am supposed to be.

Perhaps if the OLCC allows for multiple license on one property, I will expand, but I am not sure if additional land purchases are in the 5 year picture. I have also been think about non-cannabis farm diversification. As it is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I feel good about my place in the industry.

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Ah yes, the ever changing laws… That reminds me, I should read the regulations again and make sure I am still in compliance. :wink:

I was pretty open with everyone I know about my plans to dive into cannabis and word spread around. Friends of friends suddenly had money and wanted to invest, one even as high as $1,000,000. I have seen many post here on GN connecting growers with investors and vice versa. Perhaps opening that question up as a topic would start getting some feelers out there? Other than that, I am unsure how to find an investor…

Another avenue may be finding an operation that needs a master grower for a salary and a share.

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With drip irrigation, early morning or early evening, when the sun is least intense, is the best time to apply water or fertigate. Mid-day watering can be wasteful due to evaporation, and possible damaging if the fertilizer concentration increases due to that evaporation.

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