SOUTHERN MINNESOTA (KEYC) — A drive through the fields of southern Minnesota shows corn, soybeans and... hemp?
“When you start seeing the impressive infrastructure, and the soil and the conditions we can grow in, it makes you wonder why you would grow anywhere else,” said Matt Little of Midwest Farms.
Little is one of a team of businessmen who are building a CBD empire from the unassuming landscape around Waseca, Minnesota.
“It’s an industry we’re creating. We had some custom in-field harvesters, custom buckers, chip in the hole plants, silage chopper. Any method we could use, we employed,” says Little.
This is the first year the group, known as Midwest Farms, harvested their own hemp, in addition to contracting with local farmers.
“I would say the biggest problem farmers have with this crop is that, typically, you are taking corn and soybeans out with moisture content low and this is getting stuff taken out at 70% moisture,” Little explained. “The moisture content is higher, you have to be more delicate with it, tricombs are oil - that’s what we need to extract. It’s a whole different process, the ingenuity, you’ve seen some of the equipment we’ve developed. Minnesota has some ingenuity behind it and that’s why this area will succeed over the whole country.”
Ingenuity is what is fueling Midwest Farms to track the hemp from harvest through production.
“Part of what makes this unique for the industry is we can track the farmers. There’s a chain of custody through the whole process.” continued Little.
Midwest Farms have made investments in processes and equipment to ensure that they control the quality of the product from start to finish.
“Everything has a SKU (stockkeeping unit) number attached to it, so we know which farm it came from and then that’s attached to it through the whole process,” Little explained. “Traceability is crucial for this industry right now. So [a SKU number of] 9010, that would be the farm number, and these are bags of hemp getting ready to be processed to go up into pallet racking system.”
With one harvest under their belts, Midwest Farms moves onto the next step of the process, which is the extraction of CBD that will be used in their products. The extraction phase is a whole new endeavor itself, as the team makes sure the CBD they use has 0.3% THC or less, which is legal for all uses and won’t make users high.
Join us on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. as Matt Little and the team at Midwest Farms walk viewers through the CBD extraction process.
KEYC’s new series “CBD: From Seed to Shelf” is a weekly journey that will inform viewers about the CBD industry that is not only bringing regional attention to southern Minnesota towns, but also hundreds of jobs.
“CBD: From Seed to Shelf” airs on Tuesdays during KEYC News Now at 6.