Harvest method and equipment should be an early consideration when deciding to grow a hemp crop.
Hemp grain harvesting is generally done by straight combining however swathing is used in a few areas in Western Canada.
The newer models of combines are best suited to handling the hemp harvest and require minimal modifications. The new machines have bigger cylinders and cleaning area. Headers can be operated at higher levels so all stands of hemp can be accommodated.
Most new combines are now rotary design. Some new machines have the swath entering at the bottom of the cylinder. On earlier machines, the swath would hit the middle of the rotor after leaving the feeder housing. The rotor then had to direct the material up the side of the rotor. This slight hesitation would be enough to allow the hemp to wrap on the front bearing of the rotor. The product flow is smoother in new machines.
The draper header is preferred by growers.
Conventional Auger Header
They have more clearance to allow the hemp stalks to lay down on the canvas. This promotes a more even feed of the material into the combine. Some growers have had success with conventional headers as well.
Video Case IH Combining Hemp with Conventional Header