For years, farmers hung hemp plants in environmentally controlled tobacco barns, where the harvest required a drying-time of three to five days. The barns needed to be retrofitted with forced-air units to dry the excess moisture out of the plants. Each farm required as many as 20 barns, each large enough to hold up to an acre’s worth of harvested plants.
There has been a steep rise in the hemp growing industry since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived products. It’s no wonder many farmers started looking for ways to cash in on this rapidly growing market. Just three years ago, the U.S. hemp industry was producing around $820M in revenue, but experts expect that number to rise by approximately 15% by 2022.
A Better Way for Hemp Drying
When properly dried and processed, valuable CBD oil can be extracted from the hemp plant and used in a variety of in-demand products. While the former process of harvesting, drying and storing was adequate for growing a couple of acres of crop, hemp growers who wanted to increase their production quickly realized the need to speed the rate at which wet biomass is processed.
Louisville Dryer did extensive research to develop a dryer that would alleviate the need for faster drying. We started with a desire to understand the unique position of hemp farmers. Hank Lawson, our Senior Process Engineer, made it his mission to learn how our company could best support hemp farmers and improve their business.
“Properly drying your hemp is an essential part of processing it for CBD oil extraction or other medical or industrial purposes. I made it my mission to get you the best equipment to speed up your drying process, while also understanding all of your pain points as a grower.”
– Hank Lawson, Senior Process Engineer
Hank grew two-acres of hemp and saw the farming process through to drying and extraction. It provided invaluable insights into what hemp farmers experience as they plant, grow, harvest, dry, and extract. The most notable thing Hank learned was how much work it takes to grow hemp. After enduring the entire process, it was even more motivating to the Louisville Dryer team to develop the best agricultural-grade direct heat dryer available to our hemp farming clients.
Farming, Drying, and Processing Hemp to Maximize your Harvest – Our Journey
Specific Needs for Drying Hemp
Using Hank’s research, Louisville Dryer designed and manufactured our hemp drying system to improve your specific hemp-drying needs. Our design implements the same technology we have been using for decades to dry other agricultural products successfully but addresses two particular needs.
#1: Moisture Levels Reduction
Hemp has a naturally high moisture level content, making it is critical to reducing its biomass to an acceptable level of moisture to extract quality CBD oil.
#2: Decarboxylation Process
If you wish to create CBD products from the cannabinoid-rich oil extracts derived from your hemp harvest, decarboxylation is essential. It is the necessary process of converting THCA or CBDA into the THC or CBD.
Get The Outcome You Need
What if you could expedite decarboxylation through the drying process? You can.
Hemp dried in our Steam Tube Dryer aids in the decarboxylation process at the same time moisture is removed. This makes the extraction process move faster.
We developed our steam dryer models to specifically dry 4, 6, 8 and up to 10 tons of wet hemp biomass per hour with an output moisture content between 10-12%. The result is a more efficient extraction with a higher yield. And a higher yield means higher profit per acre.
Louisville Dryer also builds direct heat dryers for customers who do not have steam.
Removing a Barrier to Higher Profit
While our hemp dryer shares many similarities to our other direct heat dryers, one distinguishing factor for this product is that it’s priced especially for the agricultural economy. It is more affordable than some of our other models of direct heat dryers.
If you’re looking for a more efficient drying system that includes decarboxylation, we can help streamline your process.
We Are Here for You
Reach out directly to Hank for his specific insights into the unique issues involved with growing, harvesting, and drying hemp. He is always happy to have a conversation and is uniquely positioned to anticipate your needs.
If you’d like to contact Hank or any of our team members about a direct heat or steam tube dryer, please call us at (800) 735-3163 or fill out our online contact form. A more efficient and profitable drying method could change everything for your hemp business.