Industrial hemp farming: a crop to rebuild Newburgh’s economy?
Posted in CBD Oil | Last Updated April 6, 2020
Broadway in Newburgh might one day be home to both CBD product retailers and CBD research and processing facilities, with product shipped from Newburgh piers
Historic farm to city connection
Newburgh has a rich history as both an agricultural and manufacturing center
Historic Newburgh has been deeply connected to Orange County and the Hudson Valley region’s agricultural economy for more than two centuries.
Dating from the days when Newburgh son, Andrew Jackson Downing, American horticulturist, architect, and the first great landscape designer in the United States was remaking the American landscape, until now as a resurgent apple industry and rising CBD hemp farm industry reshape the Hudson Valley, Newburgh’s economy has had ties to agriculture.
Inheriting the nursery from his father at a young age, Downing as the Hudson Valley’s leading landscape designer, tamed an unruly pioneer landscape into manicured designs for the great estates along the Hudson.
While doing that, Downing also served as the editor of the magazine The Horticulturalist and with brother Charles Downing wrote the definitive book on pomology: The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America.
The book had a profound effect on agriculture and farming nationwide, as gentlemen farmers and professionals experimented by growing hundreds of varieties of fruit trees.
His influence is still seen in the Hudson Valley, where apple trees and fruit orchards dominate the landscape.
To this day, New York State leads the nation as the number two apple producer, and within the state, the Hudson Valley ranks with the Champlain Valley as top producers.
Regional farming still tied to Newburgh
While Downing’s nursery and estate have vanished, and the days of wagons and trucks trundling down Broadway to load agricultural bounty and manufactured goods on departing ships are gone, regional farms are still very much tied to Newburgh, and in the future can be more so.
These farms have raised or cultivated a variety of farm goods and products in the Hudson Valley for centuries, surviving economic blips and adjusting to market forces, including residential development, and yet many remain.
One crop gaining national attention is hemp intended for CBD oil production, and it’s also gaining quite a foothold in New York State, especially in Orange County.
According to HVADC, an agricultural incubator, New York State currently now has 108 processors and 480 growers with over 20,000 acres of registered hemp production.
CBD Oil production, processing, and retail sales may offer economic opportunity
CBD In Orange County
According to the Times Herald Record: “Orange County farmers are projected to grow one-third to one-half of the CBD hemp that will be harvested in the Hudson Valley this first year of explosive interest in the crop.
“Our preliminary surveys indicate there are 500 to 700 acres of hemp in Orange County of the 1,100 to 1,500 acres that have been planted in the Hudson Valley,″ said Maire Ullrich, agricultural program leader at Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County. “And about 60 to 80 percent of that is in the Black Dirt.
In comparison, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency reported 2,654 acres were planted in the Black Dirt region’s signature onions last year.”
The CBD oil market
Forbes magazine stated that by 2025, the CBD oil market could reach revenues of $16 billion dollars. “CBD is technically legal as a result of the Farm Bill that passed late last year…33 states and Washington, D.C. have legal medical markets while 10 states (plus D.C.) permit recreational use.”
Graft Cider in Newburgh refines local Hudson Valley cider into popular hard ciders enjoyed across the country
Apple production and processing set the example for a future CBD oil market in Newburgh
Graft Cider, a Newburgh hard cider startup, sources cider locally
Minard Farms, a farm that has been in the same family for almost 100 years is in Ulster County. It specializes in cider production and processes and ships over a million gallons of cider annually.
It sells its products to farm stands, supermarkets, and also ships it overseas.
In The City of Newburgh, where hot new startup Graft Cider located a few years ago, the startup cans and ships their popular lines of hard cider.
At Graft, business is booming
If you guessed Minard’s is where Graft gets its processed base cider, which it then ferments and tweaks, you’d be correct. At Graft, business is booming, and in turn, so is Minard’s.
In a recent Times Herald record article about Minard’s, Kyle Sherrer co-owner of Graft said:
“The ability to source cider from Hudson Valley apples for a Hudson Valley business has been a boon to three-year-old Graft Cidery in Newburgh.
“They’ve kept pace as we’ve scaled up, sending us a tanker every other week and more in our busy season, the warm months.″
(As of this writing, Graft Cider is moving to a new location in Newburgh, engaging in an aggressive build-out to meet demand and also cater to a public seeking an onsite tasting venue).
The Newburgh Brewing Company sources herbs and fruit locally
Besides Graft Cider, The Newburgh Brewing Company, no more than a startup like Graft just a few years ago, is now a well established and nationally recognized Newburgh enterprise doing tremendous business at its renovated warehouse and also shipping a ton of product.
The Brewery emphasizes on its website that many of its beers use locally sourced agricultural products and points specifically and repeatedly to the benefits of being located near the region’s agricultural cluster.
Newburgh’s real estate can handle CBD companies
Aerial view of a 86,000 Sq. Ft. Industrial space for lease at 220 Dupont Ave Newburgh, N.Y.
Newburgh’s affordable commercial real estate can meet demand
In order to meet the hoped-for demand for CBD products, Newburgh’s stock of commercial real estate might offer investors an affordable real estate solution so they can either start, locate, or grow their businesses here.
Graft Cider considered moving from Maryland to Newburgh and began looking at a real estate market that offered both exposure to the New York Metro market, as well as the Hudson Valley agricultural market.
They seized the opportunity to lease an affordable space in Newburgh.
Like Graft, CBD entrepreneurs will find a wide range of real estate options that can help the bottom line and also keep them near the New York Metro market as well as Hudson Valley agricultural hubs.
Historic buildings like this former firehouse at 255 Broadway (for sale) could be repurposed as a retail store.
From large warehouse properties to the mixed-use buildings found up and down Broadway, and in other parts of the city, Newburgh’s commercial real estate is especially attractive with low prices on the properties, lease prices are sometimes as low as $2.95 per square foot (nnn).
Many of these buildings are workhorse relics from Newburgh’s shipping and manufacturing past and have rear street loading docks and spacious first and second-floor interiors in addition to their storefronts.
Newburgh, a transportation hub
Newburgh’s Broadway became a regional artery for the trading of goods to and from western Orange County and beyond and via its Hudson River riverfront to points north, south and across the Atlantic.
Today, Newburgh still enjoys a transportation edge with access to a transportation network that includes interstates 84 and 87, a north-south railway system, and Stewart international airport, only a few miles away.
While Newburgh’s harbor is more or less inactive except for some tourism activity and some shipping activity out of New Windsor just to the south, in fact, the Bay of Newburgh offers a deep modal port.
A deep modal port
According to Steelways Holdings, a corporation which is located in Newburgh at 401 South Water Street, their facilities in Newburgh offers the following:
Waterfront property located on the west side of the Hudson River in Newburgh, New York. The facility, in addition to being located on the Hudson River, a major shipping artery, is also serviced by CSX Railroad, Interstate Route I-84, and the Stewart Airport.
Sixty (60) waterfront acres with three (3) sheltered harbors. Concrete marine launch ways capable of accommodating vessels up to 300′ long x 125′ wide terminates in the north harbor. A marine railway capable of hauling 500-ton vessels 140′ long x 65′ wide terminates in the south harbor.
The main shipping channel runs adjacent to the main pier, and extends approximately 4000′ east, across the river.
Three (3) rail spurs terminate at the north end of the facility.
An additional nine (9) acres of the property is located directly across the street from the main facility and is used for parking and storage.
A 28,000 sq.ft. steel fabrication shop* with 3-10 ton overhead cranes (27′-0 under the hook) represents the epicenter of the steel fabricating operation.
An evaporator for the purest quality CBD oil manufactured in the Hudson Valley at Ceres Technologies
Hudson Valley manufacturers are creating quality equipment for industrial hemp growers
What’s also noteworthy about Newburgh’s proximity to an agricultural Hudson Valley is that the same valley shares space with a full suite of high-quality engineering companies that are able to produce the equipment and machinery the CBD industry may require.
In today’s parlance, these companies are called advanced manufacturers.
Once industrial hemp is harvested, the material needs to be processed.
As businesses, colleges and research centers do their work, they will all need to build out their facilities with the equipment that will allow them to work to scale.
Industrial-scale extractors and processors will need to be designed, engineered and manufactured.
Right now, it’s already being done here in the Hudson Valley.
Engineering an evaporator in the Hudson Valley
One of the most significant tasks in creating CBD oil at an industrial level is taking the raw industrial hemp (also known as biomass) and processing enough of it to get a sufficient amount of end product: the CBD oil.
To do that, a piece of equipment known as an evaporator is needed to take the CBD oil extract and process it.
Currently, China has been leading in the production of evaporators, but a local Hudson Valley manufacturer, Ceres Technologies, has entered into the fray.
Ceres is manufacturing slick-looking evaporators that process a mixture created by steeping the biomass in ethanol.
After it has “cooked” the mixture is loaded into an evaporator which passes it through tubing surrounded by a steam jacket.
The heat from the steam evaporates the ethanol, in turn creating a vapor stream, which is then pushed by centrifugal force into successive chambers ultimately entering a cooling chamber where the vapor returns to oil, now purified.
Just as apple production or any kind of farm production results in a growth in ancillary industrial demand, like sheet metal working, welding, engineering and design, soil testing, packaging, advertising and package design, not to mention research, the same potential holds true with the production, processing, and packaging of CBD oil.
Newburgh, as illustrated, is well-positioned to benefit from this new agricultural focus as it takes shape in these early days and, hopefully, impacts the city’s economic development.