STONER MAGAZINE — Among the rolling hills between Monmouth and Corvallis is an amazing hemp farm run by the Crawford brothers, Eric and Seth. It was our pleasure to meet them, and have them show us their impressive operation. I must say, their processes, strategy, and ethics blew us away. Believe me, you’re going to want to hear about it.
Oregon CBD’s breeding program produces varieties of feminized industrial hemp seeds. Industrial hemp is any cannabis plant that has a THC level of 0.3% or less in the flowering tops. At Oregon CBD, they’ve bred plants that produce very high ratios of CBD to THC, are structurally robust, have unmatched oil content and the earliest flower initiation possible in photoperiod-sensitive lines. Their feminized seed increases maximum per acre yields, minimize labor costs, and reduces the risk of cross-pollinating neighbors. This last process is vital because cannabis pollen can travel many miles unchecked; only using female plants for outdoor production prevents cross-pollination with recreational and medical cannabis growers.
In 2016, cross-pollination incidents in Oregon cost farmers millions of dollars in lost revenue. Eric and Seth are very careful to prevent cross-pollination, and if they even suspect it, they won’t sell that batch of seed. Their reputation is on the line with every seed they produce, and that’s one risk they won’t take, even if it means losing money. As Oregon CBD explains, “In short, feminized seed allows farmers to increase their bottom line by at least 130% per acre and produce a much higher quality product while simultaneously minimizing labor costs and foregoing the intensive process of cloning tens of thousands of plants for field production.”
When we visited their greenhouses, they were pollinating the mother plants to produce seed. Yellow powdery pollen covered everything! The pollen is collected by hand, and each plant is hand pollinated by painting it on. This is a tedious process, but very productive, as it results in a lot of harvestable seed.