Check out this list of frequently ask questions gathered from the farming community around the web!

  • What crops do Sunstrand contract for?

    We contract for hemp, kenaf, and flax.

  • How do I get a contract?

    To get the process started, just reach out to us. We’ll get to know each other, and if it’s a good fit, we’ll offer you a contract. It’s that simple.

  • Can we grow multiple Sunstrand crops in one year?

    Yes. Depending on the region, we have farmers that grow hemp and kenaf in the summer and grow flax in the winter. Tell us where you farm, and we’ll tell you how we fit in your rotation.

  • How close does Sunstrand need their farmers?

    It depends on the number of available acres, but we try to keep our farmers within 100 miles of our nearest plant.

  • Does Sunstrand contract with large or small farms?

    Both. As long as the acres per farm allow for a contract, we will contract with any professional farmers.

  • Is industrial hemp legal to grow?

    It is completely legal as of December 20, 2018!

  • How does industrial hemp fit into our crop rotations?

    In Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolina’s, traditional crop rotations utilize corn, soybean, and tobacco. Currently, hemp has been filling the void created by the decline of tobacco. It is a spring-planted crop and naturally fits into the space tobacco is leaving behind.

  • Why would hemp be a replacement for tobacco?

    Growing industrial hemp is much less labor intensive than tobacco. It’s also a great way to manage the land and fight perennial weed pressure; we’ve seen it manage Johnson grass, pigweed, and ragweed in pastures at our farms in western Kentucky. Farmers can even use their old tobacco farms as a place to dry store the harvested hemp bales

  • What is needed for hemp in terms of soil prep and planting?

    There’s no need for extreme fertilization or soil amendment processes and tilling is equally low maintenance; with the option to pursue vertical tilling, minimal tilling, or even no tilling. Once the soil preparation process is complete, a basic broadcast spreader, cultipacker, or even a modern-day air drill can be used to spread the seeds.

  • How do I harvest industrial hemp? Is there any special equipment needed?

    The classic sickle bar mower is the best way to cut the stalks for retting. Over the last three years of growing hemp in Kentucky, disk mowers have been proven ineffective for cutting industrial hemp. When attempting to cut the industrial hemp stalks with those mowers, the strong green hemp fibers wrap around anything that is twisting and turning, locking up the equipment and causing hours of downtime for equipment cleanout.

  • What is retting?

    If bast fibers (hemp, kenaf, flax, bamboo, etc.) are to be used in textiles and other high-quality applications, the fibers have to be separated from the stalk. Retting is a microbial process that breaks down the chemical bonds holding the stem together and allows separation of the fibers from the core

  • What is the difference between growing for hemp fiber and growing for hemp CBD?

    Each farm really has its own niche; both crops have their uses and can be prosperous. Over the past few years, we have found that growing industrial hemp for CBD is typically a much higher maintenance process than industrial hemp grown for fiber. You have to pay careful attention to CBD focused industrial hemp through each specific phase of the crop’s lifecycle, which includes the planting and harvesting processes.

    For industrial hemp grown for fiber, the process is carried out much like a typical hay crop practice which has a more commercial farming element to it. Fiber focused hemp can also be scheduled a little more effectively than CBD crops in traditional crop rotations. There is also a smaller window for harvesting CBD hemp because you are trying to obtain high-end yields for CBD.

  • If I want to grow industrial hemp for CBD, can I grow for Sunstrand, too?

    This is a tricky one. The answer is yes, but with stipulations. One, growing for CBD is a little different than growing for fiber. We have farmers that grow dual purpose plants, but we and most CBD processers don’t prefer these crops. Neither party sees the yields that they expected and generally, the farmer does not have the incentive to do it again. There are also the farmers that grow for CBD on the same farm where they grow for hemp fiber. Sometimes, the cross-pollination will push the THC level to an illegal level and the crop will need to be burned. The short answer: we advise against growing for both industrial hemp and CBD.

  • What is the legal limit for THC in industrial hemp?

    It depends on the state. Generally, the limit is 0.3%, but you should check with your state’s Ag Department before growing industrial hemp.

  • How do we acquire hemp seeds?

    Once we have a contract, we will provide you with our proprietary seed. We really try to keep it simple.

  • Is there a preferred bail type for shipment?

    Not really, your typical large round or square bales are fine.

Didn't find what you're looking for?

If you’re looking for more information about our farming program, visit the Farm with us! page linked below and submit the future farmer form to move to get in touch with our agriculture team.

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