Start a Bamboo Farm
A bamboo farm, once started, could continue to exist for years and give you some form of residual income. However, starting one needs extensive planning and preparation. Our guide can help you get ready to propagate bamboo commercially. Read on and discover vital information to help you get started.
Bamboos are employed for various uses, perhaps for every article and utility anyone can think of? as an ornament, food, structural support, and material for making items from musical instruments to kitchen utensils.
It is native to the tropics, but some also tolerate cold climates. To start a bamboo farm, you need space and extensive planning to propagate it commercially. What you spend establishing a bamboo farm will depend on the species you want to raise.
There are more than 1,000 species of bamboo to choose from. Some can be a foot short, while others could grow to more than 100 feet. Your capital outlay will also depend on the state of the land you want to cultivate. You must spend more if it needs additional tilling and soil conditioning.
Land Preparation: Before planting bamboo seedlings, test the condition of your soil, particularly for acidity. Bamboos grow best in slightly acidic soil. It may be that you would need to put in lime to adjust its pH level to the degree most suitable for growing bamboo.
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Plantation: You can have bamboo for planting by growing them yourselves from seed, using node cuttings or potted bamboo. Seeds are obtained from outside the U.S. and then grown in greenhouses. Bamboo starter plants, meanwhile, are sold from $25 to more than $100. To ensure the bamboo variety you’ve chosen suits your place’s climate and soil, grow it on a small scale first.
Planting bamboo should follow recommended specifications, particularly about spacing. Some farms use CAD programs and hire computer technicians to measure distances to draw a master plan that includes the quantity and appropriate placement of bamboo groves and irrigation system design.
Maintenance: Bamboo is drought-tolerant and resistant to insects and diseases. But it may be that the variety you are growing needs special care. Learn what specific requirements your plant needs, such as how much water it needs for a given period. Generally, bamboos need watering once or twice weekly in the first few months. Also, think about leaf cutting and pruning as your plantation grows.
Harvesting: Bamboo takes years to grow. It will take about six years to have your first harvest, so you would have to wait that long to earn from your investment. And capital outlays are usually big at the start. After the first commercial harvest, however, cuttings will be done annually and could continue for 50 years, with only maintenance required on your part. An internal rate of return for a bamboo plantation is 31%.
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