We need a drying solution for large scale hemp. Is there a solution for drying hemp on a large scale? i have looked at dryers etc, but no one has offered a real solution other than a large space requirement and hanging the product- is there a better way?
It isn’t a piece of equipment, it is a facility that provides drying for hops. They use a conveyor system, precise heat, and forced air. The cost in Oregon is $3/lb on finished weight, includes packaging. Large scale here is forage chopped and shot into a semi, shipped to a local hops kiln, done in 24 hours, package and shipped back (shipping both ways is a farm expense).
My harvest specialist buddies have been working this side of the game for awhile now. They are well ahead of the curve. They may be willing to consult your farms and help with logistics. We have been trying to get local freeze dryers to process hemp, but none of them will touch it in our area. The hops kilns are all over it.
CMP. Are you familiar with vacuum drying? It looks like a shipping container and it can be brought out to the field. It is a hermetically-sealed chamber that can remove ‘fields heat’ in a few minutes. If it is cycled, you can bring your Hemp down to 9-10% moisture in about 15min. You can hang product on racks or shove pallets of bails. I’m up to my eyeballs right now but I will add to this thread later tonight or tomorrow. We have about 200 acres for Fem high CBD Hemp in Canada and we will deploy this tried-an-true tech onsite.
For some crazy reason I can’t find my files on the many Vacuum cooling/drying companies in the US and Canada. I did a quick search on Google. I hope these links are helpful. Maybe they’ll steer you right?
…and here is an announcement of a strategic partnership between Tilray and Enwave - a company that combines Vacuum and Microwave.
Now don’t be sad my friends. This equipment is ubiquitous. One has got to dig to find the manufactures. Some of these companies will LEASE their gear for harvest time. May of the live flower vacuum coolers (i.e., for Roses or Tulips) can be deployed to remove ‘field heat’ from live harvested cannabis. This is very useful as it hurries any ‘cool drying’ or perhaps even desiccant drying.
I’m exhausted from working on the farm so I apologize for not having better info. I think many of you understand the ‘slugfest’.
Cabell. My company is harvesting the flowering tops of Industrial Hemp (as per the IH regs up here in Canada). Are you doing the same? Perhaps I missed something in a previous communication? I’ve seen operators harvest the whole plant at once, shred, then dry using heat. That is a far cry from our technique.
If you’r doing the whole plant, why not consider ‘baling’ and just use an off-the-shelf hey bale dryer?
Raymond- I really appreciate the help- we will be doing whole plant- we have been told about using a combine and wet baler to harvest- it is my understanding it is wrapped and air tight- we like that idea but I am not familiar with an “off the shelf hay baler dryer” can you point me to that equipment? Thanks Cabell
Combine and Wet baler - there is the solution. I would suggest calling John Deere - they will have an immediate solution. If they don’t, they will find it for you. I can’t picture wet hemp being wrapped in plastic for too long - product ferments and ‘gasses off’ any CBD - if CBD is part of the value equation? I am pretty sure any Ag equipment manufacture will be able to steer you right. We are reworking all the fiber and whatnot back into the ground - it is a long logistical story. We are only interested in the flowering tops so perhaps I’m not the best source of equipment information. If you’re wanting to be informed on the cutting edge, I would recommend utilizing the Google Scholar search engine. Here’s a quick example of what you’ll find: Figure 7: Hemp harvest for wet preservation (Photo: R. Pecenka)