Five-year project starts with plans to plant, harvest 250,000 acres for industrial hemp partners in biofuels, bioplastics and natural fabrics.
Atlanta-based Cultiv8 Hemp Solutions has embarked on an effort to plant and harvest a substantial amount of Texas farmland by the middle of the decade to supply makers of hemp-based, eco-friendly fuels and plastic alternatives.
Cultiv8 reached out to Farm to Market Hemp, an Austin, Texas-based hemp farming co-op, to source a hefty order of 250,000 acres of farmable land for 2020 with hopes to grow that by a multiple of five over the next five years. Cultiv8 has contracts to supply projects for biofuels, bioplastics and other industrial hemp products being developed with several partners.
Last fall, Cultiv8 finalized an agreement with Farm to Market Hemp to source 250,000 acres of industrial hemp grown for fiber. Cultiv8 plans to use the harvested hemp for a line of plastic products, fabric materials and energy projects for U.S. consumption.
Farm to Market Hemp Founder Kristie Mallow warned that farmers should take it slow and test performance on contracts before jumping into the unbelievable CBD deals being offered because the price of CBD isolate, she said, has been consistently falling throughout 2019.
Mallow understands the nuances of the cannabis plant and sees the oil craze as the tip of the iceberg. Environmentally friendly hemp-based products can replace things like fossil fuels and plastics. Hemp fabric is another avenue of earning revenue in the hemp growing industry.
“I would just like to be able to use a plastic bag at the grocery store again or sip a drink through a straw that doesn’t dissolve without feeling like I’m killing the planet in my daily life,” Mallow said. “Cultiv8 gives farmers an opportunity to contribute to that effort in a real way and I’m proud to connect farmers with this option to produce hemp for sustainable projects that make a real difference in the lives of Texans and also happen to potentially save the environment.”
Cultiv8 Founder and CEO Steven Fance offers contracts that prepay farmers to produce hemp on a massive scale in order to feed these large projects, with most of Texas hemp being targeted for a coal replacement project for energy.
“We are excited to see other companies move into Texas with large projects like ours,” said Fance. “We have many markets to disrupt. Working with groups like Farm to Market Hemp, who are willing to navigate locally to assist farmers in removing roadblocks to providing this supply, is huge for Cultiv8 and we are excited to be working in my home state to fill these contracts. The future is bright for hemp and the future is bright for hemp specifically in Texas.”
Farmers who have attended Farm to Market Hemp’s sponsored events this summer were the first to receive news of the opportunity. New farmers will be added to the program as 2020 licensure unfolds and additional needs are determined once supply begins to flow.
Rene Pena, founder and CEO of Third Coast Hemp in South Texas, said that the projects are exactly what the industry has wanted for Texas farmers.
“Not everyone is interested in the labor-intensive farming for ingestible products,” Pena said, “nor the volatility of the market in attempting to capture a $50,000 acre at harvest, which is quickly falling already today. But farmers are looking for ways to maximize their efforts in the field.”
Pena noted that farmers are used to running large equipment with massive scale operations.
“Programs like Cultiv8 allow our farmers to do what they are good at and make double to triple of any other crop without all the risk of growing for medicinal purposes,” said Pena. “Our farmers want a solid buyer and longevity in the contract; and Cultiv8 has brought both to Texas farms.”
South Texas, he said, already has the industrial farm infrastructure and the general commodity cultivators, along with the logistics and rail resources to lead the charge in the industrial hemp revolution.
“Look for hemp biofuels and plastics coming out of this coastal bend region,” he said.