Farming is the foundation of the industrial hemp supply chain. This means that to provide manufacturers with the highest quality products, the Heartland team must go all the way to the source to understand seed genetics, fertilizer, planting and harvesting techniques as well as storage of the plant after it is baled.
Top manufacturers have been looking for sustainable materials to replace the toxic materials that they have relied upon for decades. The main variables holding this vision back have been cost and consistency.
Fortunately, this week, the Heartland team has taken steps to help top manufacturers turn their visions of a sustainable future into a reality.
Spearheaded by Rusty Peterson & Cory VanderZwaag, our team has successfully identified 5 different farms across Michigan, one already being planted, that are doing both fiber and grain varieties. These plots of land are meant to serve as an opportunity to collect valuable data and refine standard operating procedures. This information will be the foundation of future farming operations, providing deeper insight into farmer income, yields per acre & carbon sequestration.
These farms have traditionally grown everything from corn, soy beans, wheat, alfalfa, sugar beets and others. We are providing them the opportunity to add another amazing crop to their rotation. This will not only drive more revenue from industrial hemp, but improve yields for all the other crops in rotation as soil nutrition improves.
But, like many industries, farmers have been pinched by foreign agriculture. Farmers are actively looking for long term alternatives that can bring in a stable income and improve their crop quality.
Heartland is looking to build a circular economy where the industrial hemp supply chain that we’re building in Michigan will be processed, distributed, and utilized by manufacturers within a 300 mile radius. This means that local farmers are providing raw materials to local manufacturers, and local manufacturers are building products with raw materials that were grown down the street. Creating this type of local economy is something that the Heartland team is looking to replicate across the United States and in the future, the world.
For these plots of land, Heartland focused on working with farmers that wanted to start small, perfect our operating practices and grow together as a community. With the data collected this year, manufacturing in place, proof of concept, relationships, and partnerships established, Heartland is slated to exponentially ramp up the planted acres for 2022.
As our team planted seeds, we focused on making sure we were implementing farming practices that can be implemented by any farmer, with equipment already in their existing operations.
This involved Heartland working hand in hand with the farmers and agronomists. We started in the same place as many of our predecessors, we engaged with local and international experts to learn as much as possible, ultimately reducing the learning curve and providing a better experience to our farmers.
With a dedicated direction, support and push from Rusty Peterson and Cory Vanderzwaag in Michigan, we have further refined our ability to collect valuable data that we can visualize across all our farms and supply chains.
“Heartland’s ability to collect and disseminate best practices for farmers will be essential in providing farms with the best support and resources we can give them.” Says Rusty Peterson, Director of Supply Chain at Heartland, “We challenge ourselves to constantly learn and evolve as we adapt new and best practices.”
The data collection and visualization process is foundational to our ability to create a reliable supply chain. It is important to understand the farming practices that work best and provide the most reliable performance characteristics in our end products.
For Heartland to become a trusted supplier for top manufacturers around the globe, our farming practices are going to become the cornerstone to our success.
Inconsistent natural products have historically prevented manufacturers from transitioning over to sustainable materials. The reason why mined and synthetic materials have thrived in manufacturing is because every pound turns out very similar. That is all about to change.
As our team starts to build strong relationships with the farming community, we are excited to engage with more farmers to show them the benefits of adding industrial hemp into their crop rotations. Most already have the proper equipment, and just need Heartland’s farming playbook to increase their revenue per acre while reducing the labor required.
Today, Heartland’s farmers can benefit from two separate revenue streams.
In the future, Heartland’s farmers will have an opportunity to participate in our carbon credit program which will strictly monitor agricultural practices and carbon sequestration. In this context, a carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. To limit global warming to less than 2°C, it requires a shift in priority from reduction to actual removal of trapped CO2. Hemp, one of the fastest CO2-to-biomass conversion tools available, absorbs more CO2 per acre than any forest or commercial crop, making it an ideal removal solution for the world.
With our farmers having access to 2 revenue opportunities, with a single source purchaser, it’s easy to see why they are excited to add industrial hemp into the rotation of traditional crops.
As our team builds our Michigan supply chain, we will be building a model that can be replicated in any region of the world. The success of this model is based on our ability to effectively collect and visualize data to make it actionable. At this point, Heartland will then be able to build a sustainable material supply chain for our clients anywhere on earth within 12 months.
Join us as we make a world out of hemp.
— Heartland Team