Machinery for the harvesting of Hemp is still being developed. The Colorado Hemp Processing Cooperative is working with engineers to provide the proper type of harvesting equipment. Because this crop has been dormant for over 80 years, we have the opportunity to develop the most efficient harvesting equipment possible utilizing 21st Century Technology.
The ideal harvesting procedure is really a two step process. Once the Agricultural Hemp plant has produced seed, one type of equipment will be used to harvest the seed and residual flower, leaving the stalks standing in the field to dry while the seed and flower are being sorted and separated at the whole plant processing facility. When the stalks have dried in the field, they will be harvested utilizing a different type of machinery. It is not recommended that the stalks be baled as this damages the fiber. Once the stalks are harvested, they will be taken to the processing facility and decorticated into their two constituent parts, the Bast and the Hurd.
Currently, one-step harvesting machinery is available, but they produce green stalks which are not as efficiently decorticated as dried stalks.
When these four raw materials, the Seed, Flower, Bast and Hurd, have been processed, they will be sold to second tier processing facilities to be further processed into the over 25,000 products that the raw materials from the whole plant are capable of producing. These products include food, building materials, fuel, textiles, cosmetics and a host of others.