A TRUSTED PARTNER
This past March, Schlegel Greenhouse was approached by an out of state seed broker to propagate hemp seedlings for a farmer. While, this was presented as a simple transaction, it didn't take long until we came to the realization that nothing about this transaction would be simple.....
After our initial contact from the aforementioned broker, we received very little information of what this project would entail other than potential space requirements. During this time, we worked through the lengthy and complicated process of becoming a licensed seed distributor while awaiting more information. Two months after first contact with the broker, we finally had some details in place and the seeds were shipped to us with the expectation of immediate planting.
When the seeds arrived we noticed wide variability in seed size and quality, but having not had an opportunity to grow with this particular cultivar before, had no data to refer to for seeing if this was common occurrence in the hemp industry. We also found the seed lot to be about 10% short. With the high seed costs we quickly notified the broker who arranged for more seeds to be sent from the distributor.
After about 1 week we started to notice roughly 50% of the seed had germinated. 1 week after that about 15% more broke through the soil. All seedlings that germinated were widely variable in both size and quality but through our over 45 years of horticultural experience we were confident in our abilities to turn these plants around and finish them to the customer's satisfaction. The original batch of seeds sent to us ended up germinating at widely variable rates but ended up at around 65% germination. The replacement batch fared far worse at less than 10% viability. Once all viable seeds germinated, the farmer wants to see how his investment is doing and realizes his plans were built on a false foundation. He would be lucky to get half of his projected yields on his first crop.
Delivery day of the product arrived later than expected due to the high amount of rain and we were notified to deliver less than 24 hours before delivery. We are given the address for the delivery and were expected to speak with the farmer and we discover that he is working with a sharecropper to plant and harvest this CBD rich hemp. The farmer we had been communicating with and sharing information with was nowhere to be found. We left our invoice with the agreed upon amount for our work on the farmers crop. The farmer decides that he is going to change the terms of his original agreement between his broker and us (the propagator) and only pay for the seedlings that were viable which he determined was 55%.
So all told we have four parties involved in this transaction and not one of them could consider themselves satisfied or serviced in any conceivable way. The broker lost his share of the sale of the seed and ended up losing money and a customer. The out of state seed distributor damaged their reputation as a source for viable seed. The farmer and his investors won't come close to reaching the yields expected. And the propagator is left holding half of the bill for the labor and plant care materials used on the sourced seed. An overall negative experience for all parties involved.
So what did we learn? Ethical and professional business practices are not easily obtained in this emerging industry. You talk to any individual who has been involved in this industry's infancy and they all will tell you a story very similar to this one. That's where Hoosier Boy Hemp Co. is looking to provide a service. Using our resources, extensive research, collaboration with local organizations, and over 45 years of high-quality plant production experience, we can help farmers navigate the complicated agricultural challenges associated with hemp. We will provide farmers with resources, corporate partnerships, and a community that can be trusted and relied upon.