By Heather Collins
When Pennsylvania-based New Holland Agriculture, a global 125-year old farm machinery brand, identified an opportunity in hemp, the company went straight to the root of the problem by breaking ground on its own dedicated 15-acre testing farm.
“We wanted to better understand the complexities of hemp by farming it ourselves, which explains why we took the time and effort to discover more about this fibrous crop. More importantly, we wanted to ensure that our haymaking equipment and harvesting equipment worked properly with hemp,” said Jon Hundley, Marketing Manager, New Holland Agriculture.
Hundley adds, “We’re the only major equipment manufacturing company that has a working test farm at its headquarters. This gives New Holland Agriculture an advantage because we know firsthand what farmers require when out in the field.”
Known around the world as a leader in advancing the agriculture industry, New Holland Agriculture’s complete line of equipment includes harvesting and packaging solutions that are readily available to meet today’s hemp farmers’ needs.
“The ‘in-the-hemp-field’ experience gave our team perspective on how our company can better serve as advocates for hemp farmers and continue to push the industry forward,” adds Hundley.
Hemp, which is similar in structure to hay, is relatively new to New Holland Agriculture’s traditional commodity portfolio with specialties in corn, wheat, and other crops. That’s why the field team took the time to learn everything about hemp before planting to its dedicated end-use.
As Hundley points out, the headquarters hemp team quickly realized that it takes more than having the right equipment. “We found that field preparation is extremely important. Despite the lack of rain, we had a nice yield, and our equipment worked effectively”.
New Holland Agriculture is proudly celebrating its 125th year of serving farmers on a global scale and believes hemp can play a pivotal role in the future of agriculture. “It’s all about educating the ag industry about the opportunities that hemp provides from a farming and innovation perspective,” says Hundley. “We have opened many new doors and partnerships through hemp and see it as a way to vertically integrate our company.”
Partners in the Field
New Holland Agriculture works closely with Pennsylvania State University’s Extension office and relies on their expertise for the role hemp plays in the ever-evolving industry. “We’re fortunate to collaborate with Penn State and as the interaction provides our team with credible, unbiased analysis, data and key information on the hemp industry,” says Hundley. “Through this partnership, we are positioned as a hemp proponent when it comes to regulation and standards.”
The Penn State Extension office works with various entities to further the hemp industry by hosting informational webinars, in-person workshops and serves as an additional resource for farmers interested in learning more about the viable crop.
This year, New Holland Agriculture also announced a partnership with the National Hemp Association, a nonpartisan hemp advocacy group. Through this alliance, New Holland Agriculture intends to leverage its active role in hemp policy and progress. “We’re taking a close look at what hemp can do and how it can innovate. For example, we are seeing automakers integrate hemp materials in their automobiles. This type of innovation indicates that farmers need to know what the end use is before they plant.”
Hemp Farming: The Next Frontier
As the hemp industry continues to evolve, Hundley indicates that innovation is always top of mind at New Holland Agriculture, “The future of hemp is in fiber, and we’re excited to be a part of the next frontier in farming and serve as a resource for farmers.”
New Holland Agriculture’s product offerings, including its harvesting, cutting and baling equipment, are already being used in hemp farming operations, and Hundley believes that the company will grow with the industry. “Hemp is an unbelievable opportunity for future farmers and the next generation because it is such a new commodity, and the crop excites young farmers who are ready to grow something new.”
Hundley predicts as hemp becomes a viable crop in more states that more farmers will plant it as a secondary crop to diversify. “That’s where the excitement is with hemp. It provides the opportunity to do something different for the betterment of the future.”
Hundley advises, “As New Holland Ag continues to work in the hemp frontier, additional information will be available through local dealerships. We’re proud to be on the cutting edge of this industry and look forward to helping generations.” For additional information and support, contact your local New Holland dealer.
New Holland Agriculture is a proud Sponsor of the NoCo Hemp Expo Hall, scheduled for 2021, where attendees can view the hemp machinery equipment and meet with New Holland Agriculture representatives.
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Heather Collins is an Account Manager for Compass Natural Marketing and has been working in communications and marketing in the natural products industry for the past twenty years. Compass Natural serves in PR and programming for NoCo Hemp Expo and Southern Hemp Expo. Collins serves as a Contributing Writer of the weekly Let’s Talk Hemp Newsletter, published by We are for Better Alternatives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.