Could Hemp Drying Co-ops Make Farming More Profitable?

Could Hemp Drying Co-ops Make Farming More Profitable?

Reducing moisture is an essential part of hemp processing. The traditional method of hang drying is a long and tedious process where the hemp is hung upside down and dried by hand. Growers must remove the stems and then cut the plants into small pieces to dry more thoroughly. It is a time-consuming process that leaves little room for error. 

Drying only batches at a time, traditional hang drying requires:
  • Around 5-10,000 square foot per acre
  • Many days to dry
  • Days of curing after the drying
  • 12-15 people to do it successfully
  • Numerous fans and dehumidifiers for more consistent drying.

It’s a fickle process, and a lot can go wrong. If the hemp is dried too slowly, the resulting product can be low-quality or ruined completely. Higher moisture takes more time and energy to dry, and a lot of crop rots because farmers can’t keep up with the drying demand and the army of people it takes to complete it. 

This method is not scalable or profitable, and most hemp farmers who try it will only ever do it once. 

As we heard someone recently say, “There aren’t enough arms and barns for where the hemp industry is going.”

Reliability and Profitability from Seed-to-Sale

Success in the hemp industry starts with the farmer. If the farmer can’t grow successfully, the whole industry is affected. 

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 production needed to speed the processing rate of wet biomass. 

With the increase of popularity and mainstream approval, the hemp growing and drying industry is booming. Laws have shifted to allow growth, processing, and transportation of hemp—even across state lines. Improving the hemp drying process means farmers can provide a higher quality product and decrease their product loss.

The problem for many farmers is cost and sustainability. 

       We understand. 

Known for our robust dryer systems, Louisville Dryer understands that the hemp market is turbulent and requires affordable dryers. We have worked diligently to bring a dryer to the market which also meets the needs of hemp producers. 

Hemp farmers need practical solutions to enhance reliability and profitability from seed-to-sale.

Our equipment is tailored to the process and we examined the return on investment for the end-user. When we work with farmers, they need to know they can trust our reputation and experience because they are not experts in industrial dryers. Our service to our hemp clients doesn’t stop with the purchase. We provide customer support after the sale to make sure the equipment operates properly and safely.

A Unique Option: Hemp Co-Ops and Drying Facilities

If you’re a farmer that wants to grow in the hemp and CBD industry, you will need to produce a top-quality product. Yet, many hemp farmers are unsure if they need an industrial-sized hemp drying system. 

Hemp co-ops and drying facilities may be the way of the future. 

Hemp co-ops and drying facilities team people together to share industrial machines—like our hemp dryers. They pool their money to purchase manufacturing equipment and then allow farmers to become members to gain access to their resources.

These co-ops and drying facilities provide a cost-effective opportunity for farmers and allow local-areas access to drying services. They maximize profit, reduce the cost of doing business, and mitigate risks. Also, members help other members through education, knowledge, expertise, experience, influence, capital, relationships, and other resources. Their commitment is to serve the farmer, from the field to the final product.

Don’t have a hemp drying co-op near you? This may be an opportunity to join with other growers in your area and get one started.

The Highest Standard of Hemp Production

Louisville Dryer has a desire to partner with the agriculture industry, drying co-ops, and drying and bagging facilities to create the highest standard in hemp production. We can help you speed up the long and tedious process of drying hemp for more efficient and consistent results.  

There are three things you should consider before investing in a hemp dryer:

  1. How much material do you want to dry?
  2. Calculate the dryer production rate in pounds per hour. 

Divide the pounds you plan to produce by the daytime hours you have to harvest. 

  1. Submit your Request for Quote for the dryer early. We suggest starting your purchase process in the winter

Allow five (5) to six (6) months to build and install the equipment. 

Our custom-designed hemp drying system is ideal for improving the process of hemp drying. Our equipment uses the proper time and temperature controls to remove the plant’s moisture without damaging its integrity. Our engineers also understand the importance of the decarboxylation process, which requires the proper heat and time to unlock the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids. 

 

Let’s Connect And Grow Together

Whether you already own a hemp co-op or drying house, or you are considering starting one, we’d love to talk to you about how our hemp dryers can be part of your scalable plan for growth. You’ll be making an investment that will create future growth for yourself and many other farmers and processors. Over time you’ll find that your expenses can be significantly minimized by automating your process, reducing risk, and cutting overhead costs.

Louisville Dryer is a leader in hemp drying solutions. Our hemp clients have been able to improve the efficiency and thoroughness of their drying process. We have the knowledge and experience to help businesses like yours increase profit and sustainability. We can help you meet the unique needs of your business to produce a final quality product.

We engineered our hemp dryers to be fast and gentle on hemp biomass. Whether you are growing for cannabinoids or using other parts of the plant, our drying technology makes all the difference in the quality of your product.

Think about your future. Not only can our hemp dryers help you now, but they can also help you grow into a larger operation. We’re here to grow and scale with you. 

 

Modernizing Hemp Drying for Efficiency and Profit

Modernizing Hemp Drying for Efficiency and Profit

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. 

Steam Tube Dryer

Steam Tube Dryer

#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. 

 

4 Unique Insights About Hemp Farming and Drying

4 Unique Insights About Hemp Farming and Drying

For years, the hemp crop was vilified alongside its sister plant, marijuana. With the government loosening laws around growing hemp for the first time in more than 80 years, popularity is on the rise for CBD oils, hemp milk, hemp beer, and other hemp-based products. The industry is booming, and hemp growers need a reliable drying system that will allow them to stay ahead of the demand. 

Because of industry-specific obstacles hemp growers face, Louisville Dryer set out to understand the unique position of hemp farmers. Hank Lawson,  Senior Process Engineer at Louisville Dryer, made it his personal mission to learn the best way our company can support hemp farmers and improve their business. 

“I went through the entire process to see what it takes to plant, grow, and harvest hemp,” Hank explains. “I grew two acres of the crop and harvested it with my family, Then, we used what we harvested to test the drying process. We experimented with the product in different types of dryers, so we could find out exactly how they could be most effective for the growers.”

Here are 4 unique insights Hank uncovered about hemp farming and drying.

Farming, Drying, and Processing Hemp to Maximize your Harvest – Our Journey

 

 

#1: Growing Hemp Is Challenging  

The challenge for hemp farmers starts with planting and harvesting. Hemp is not an easy crop to produce. It requires high fertility soil and abundant organic matter to grow. It is also susceptible to moles, insects, and weeds, and it has very particular water needs. Hemp farmers deserve a lot of respect.  They are hardworking, knowledgeable and invest a great deal of time and energy to yield a quality product. 

 

#2: Old-Fashioned Hemp Drying is Inefficient  

There is a four-step process to go from seed to profitable product for the hemp farmer:

  1. Sow
  2. Grow
  3. Harvest
  4. Dry

Experience and scientific advances have helped to streamline the first three steps in the process, but most hemp growers are still drying their crop the old-fashioned way by cutting it into strips and hanging it in tobacco barns. A farmer can grow a couple of acres that way but to increase production, growers have to increase the rate at which they can process wet biomass. 

Steam Tube Dryer

 

#3: A Hemp-Specific Dryer Increases Profitability

Hemp farmers that want to keep pace with the demand know they need to invest in an agricultural dryer, but many traditional industrial dryers are too expensive. 

To make the hemp drying process easier and more profitable, Louisville Dryer engineered an industrial direct heat dryer exclusively for the hemp industry. Our new hemp-specific design implements the same technology we have been using for decades to successfully dry other agricultural products. 

The most significant difference in the hemp-specific dryer is that it is substantially more affordable than other industrial dryers.

It can handle four tons of wet biomass per hour and offers hemp growers a massive increase in productivity over traditional drying methods. This revolutionary dryer is available to help hemp farmers increase efficiency in their operation, which ultimately leads to higher profitability. 

 

#4: Steam Tube Dryers Can Process THC and CBD

Steam Tube Dyers can process THC and CBD. Through multiple experiments, we discovered that hemp dried in our Steam Tube Dryer went through the decarboxylation process. This is the necessary reaction where the organically present THCA or CBDA is converted into THC or CBD, which provides the consumer with the desired medicinal effects of the product. 

Growers who are looking to decarboxylate their hemp product could consider using a Louisville Dryer Steam Tube Dryer to streamline their process, improve productivity, and ultimately increase profits. 

Contact Hank Lawson

“Going through the experience of the experimental hemp farm,” Hank says, “helped me understand our customers and their unique struggles, Now I can serve them better, and that has made the whole experiment worth it.”

We invite our hemp customers to reach out directly to Hank for any additional insights into the unique issues involved with growing hemp. He is always happy to have a conversation and 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.

Identifying and Solving The Risks of Dryer Shell Cracks

Identifying and Solving The Risks of Dryer Shell Cracks

Cracking in a dryer shell can cause alarm and anxiety. How will the cracking affect the life of the dryer? Just like a small chip in a car’s windshield, there is concern that high stress on a weakness in a rotary dryer shell could grow into a bigger crack. 

With the technical experience of the Louisville Dryer’s field engineers on your side, there is no need for stress. Dryer shell cracks do not always mean that the shell is on the verge of catastrophic failure. We can assess the status of your existing equipment and take the necessary steps to keep you operating efficiently.

Why Do Dryer Shell Cracks Occur?

Cracking generally occurs at high-stress locations and surfaces slowly. They are typically caused by the cyclic loading and unloading at these high-stress locations. 

There are four common shell crackings, which we have outlined for you. The cause and concerns vary, as do the repair solutions.  We are providing a broad overview of these common cracks to help you assess your needs. Please keep in mind that this is not inclusive of all shell cracks, and we always recommend a professional assessment by a knowledgeable rotary dryer specialist. 

Four Common Dryer Shell Cracks | Causes & Solutions

# 1. Shell cracking that moves away from support points. 

Identification: Cracks forming lengthwise near the middle of the shell.

Common Cause: Continual overloading or an abrasive or corrosive product that has worn away the thickness of the shell plate. 

Common Concern: In this scenario, the shell has started to exceed the limit its bending stress due to a reduction of shell plate thickness, or excessive weight. At this point, the cracks will continue to get worse, and sometimes at an alarming rate. 

Typical Solutions: Wrapping or lining the shell can provide a temporary fix, but it does not add full rigidity back to the unit. A longer-term solution might require cutting that section of the dryer out and installing a new section. If the contributing factor is abrasion or corrosion, then the next step is to identify and mitigate that cause. 

# 2. Cracking near the support pads of the riding tires. 

Identification: Cracks forming near the tires.

Common Cause: Continuously overloading the unit by running material loads considerably past design.

Common Concern: All components of the rotary are designed with a certain amount of service factors, but those factors can be exceeded. When higher throughput is introduced, the excess stress causes the tires and support pads to transfer that pressure to the shell which can cause a small weakness to increase in size and vulnerability.

Typical Solutions: If you notice this type of cracking, act quickly. Start by reducing the amount of material passing through the unit. Cracks that are not excessive can typically be ground out and rewelded for a cost-effective and simple fix.

# 3. Cracking emanating from the corners of support pads. 

Identification: Cracking of this nature typically occurs at support pads with sharp corners.

Common Cause: If the tire pads have sharp terminating corners, then the stress at these locations are exponentially higher than when the pads have rounded ends. It’s like the difference between pressing against something with a knife versus with the back of a spoon.

Typical Solutions: Stress riser induced cracks can be ground out and rewelded. In addition, the sharp corners of the support pads should be removed or the pads should be replaced entirely. 

# 4. Cracks around steam tube support bundles. 

Identification: Cracks between the supports and shell.

Common Cause: Steam tube supports should be designed to flex with the shell, and not act as a rigid, unforgiving inside stiffener. When supports are stiff, cracking can occur at the welded connections between the supports and shell.

Typical Solutions: Cracks can be ground and welded. U-style support stiffeners should also be installed on the shell externally to reduce stress from the tube support to the shell.

Protect Your Investment

Your dryer is a key piece of your operation and requires the best service from reputable experts. Louisville Dryer has been synonymous with rotary drying equipment for over a century. Our in-house team of engineers has the expertise to respond to any of your needs. 

Over our extensive history, we have built, installed, and serviced rotary equipment that processes nearly every imaginable kind of material. No problem is too big or too small for you to contact us. We can help you assess any cause or concern, from small cracks and weaknesses to larger malfunctions and threats to your productivity. You can rest assured you will receive effective solutions that keep your production moving on time and on budget. 

The Louisville Dryer team is open and willing to share our knowledge with you. It starts with making a phone call to us at (800) 735-3163 or by taking a moment to fill out our online contact form.

Five Important Questions From the Petrochemical Industry

Five Important Questions From the Petrochemical Industry

When it comes to rotary drying equipment in the petrochemical industry, versatility is key. Such a substantial investment requires research and careful consideration. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons, as well as heed advice from experts on the subject. 

Louisville Dryers have been a production asset for the petrochemical industry for over 130 years. As the industry has changed and evolved over that time, Louisville Dryers have changed right along with it. Always improving aspects of our design and equipment, we focus on meeting the ever-changing needs of petrochemical production.

Industries considering the investment and commitment of a petrochemical product dryer can glean wisdom and knowledge from our Senior Applications Engineer, John Robertson. John has worked in the industry for over 35 years and is an outstanding asset to the Louisville Dryer team and our customers. 

Recently we asked John to answer five top questions customers often have about our company and petrochemicals. John offers the answers to these questions with simplicity and expertise.

  

The Petrochemical Industry’s Five Questions 

As answered by Senior Applications Engineer, John Robertson

What role does Louisville Dryer play in the production of petrochemicals?

Louisville Dryers have been synonymous with rotary drying equipment for over a century. We do everything from the designing, manufacturing, and installation of a variety of rotary process equipment for the petrochemical industry. 

Our expansive areas of expertise include: 

Each piece of equipment is specifically and uniquely designed to accommodate the mechanics and the processes of the product application.

What makes our Steam Tube Dryer, in particular, well-equipped for the petrochemical industry?

When it comes to longevity and saving money over the life of the equipment, it all comes back to precision and efficiency. 

Our Steam Tube Dryer is the most efficient type of rotary dryer because of its steam-filled tube heating source. The steam is only replaced when heat is transferred to the product itself, so the amount of heat loss from the system is very minimal. Our Steam Tube Dryer allows for slow gentle drying, so the moisture that’s physically held within the particles of the product can move to the surface and dry. 

The sheer versatility of our Steam Tube Dryer makes it a home run for the vast operations of the petrochemical industry. It can be used in many different applications and can be modified to suit specific plant or product needs. 

 

What unique capabilities make Louisville Dryer a good fit for working within the petrochemical industry?

Louisville Dryer designs and manufactures all of its equipment in various alloys to suit the nature and product of the plant. Standard stainless steel, 304 and 316, duplex stainless steel, super stainless steel, as well as corrosion and heat resistant nickel alloys can be incorporated into our equipment. 

If a product needs an inert atmosphere or if a solvent is being driven off and needs to be recovered, we can design special seals for the feed and discharge hoods that limit the leakage of the ambient atmosphere or the loss of solvent. 

We can also design the dryer to use a steam pressure of up to 450 PSIG if a chemical reaction needs to take place. Our Steam Tube Dryer can also purely be used as a heat source to bring a product from one temperature to another.

 

How can companies in the petrochemical industry save money by going with Louisville Dryer?

Our exceptional quality. 

Louisville Dryer’s commitment to quality control is the number one factor that saves companies money over going with another brand of dryers. 

Our clients demand reliability, and we give it to them. All of our equipment is designed and manufactured with extreme precision and robust components. Our goal is to run continuous operations that meet or exceed our clients’ production needs. We are focused on less maintenance, less loss of production, and less equipment replacement. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Look at our proven record. Louisville Dryer has equipment in the field that has been in operation for 50 years, and we will continue to uphold our reputation of reliability for years to come. 

 

How can someone get the best insights and information about their specific petrochemical needs?

 

Contact us. The Louisville Dryer team is open and willing to share our knowledge with you. This is a substantial investment, so we want to feel confident about your decision and make sure you get it right. 

Our employees have hundreds of years of combined experience in mechanical design, process design, manufacturing, application, and service of industrial rotary processing equipment, especially dryers. You can speak with us directly and even schedule a site visit. It starts with making a phone call to us at (800) 735-3163 or by taking a moment to fill out our online contact form.

 

See Our Petrochemical Case Study: