Atalo Holdings, Inc.
A collaboration of subsidiary companies and farmer members, Atalo Holdings, Inc., is one of the largest interconnected groups in the hemp industry. In 2014, Atalo Holdings was organized along with Hemp Oil Kentucky, Kenex Kentucky, and Kentucky Hemp Seed R&D, in an effort to provide leadership in research, development and commercialization of Industrial Hemp.
Subsidiary companies of Atalo include Super Food Processing LLC, Kentucky Hemp Seed R&D LLC, and Kentucky CBD LLC.
Super Food Processing acquires, cleans, processes and distributes hemp grains from co-operative growers and select sources. Kentucky Hemp Seed R&D provides innovative applications of science to plant breeding with the goal of being a source of seed and seed technology for co-operative farmers and the industry at large. Kentucky CBD produces CBD products derived from proprietary and exclusive seed varieties and international partners. Atalo was also instrumental in the establishment of the Hemp Research Campus, has partnerships with GenCanna, and provides seed to five Kentucky universities for research.
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In 2015, Atalo Holdings grew hemp on 34 acres. This year, the Kentucky collective has 450 acres growing from seed propagated hemp with high CBD characteristics. An additional 1200 additional acres of hemp are being grown for grain purposes. The company has 58 farmers growing hemp and are permitted to grow up to 2,700 acres.
The company has noted 16 varieties of seed, 14 of which are imported. Hybrids are being developed and breeder arrangements are in place for this development. Selling their CBD hemp as wholesale, raw plant products, and are working with extractors to produce whole plant extracts, the company markets its consumer products through the brand Kentucky CBD.
Seed development and variety optimization continue to be a focus for the company as Atalo expands partnerships with farmers to collaborate in growing and harvesting the refined hemp breeds. Breeds are refined not only for cannabinoid profiles but for strain viability, including plant vigor, uniformity, and pest resistance.
Atalo companies are also performing research and development on production and are building collaborations with external area farmers to understand and mitigate outdoor growing variables. The company has been testing multiple drying methods, and has developed refined planting methods and education processes to transition farmers from traditional crops such as corn.
Pollen drift is another challenge to solve as neighboring farms with female plants are at risk for undesired pollination. Quality educational programs, pollen drift solutions, and improved drying processes are all seen as target opportunities to further develop the industry.
“Hemp is today where corn or soy beans were 40 years ago. We’re applying our agronomic techniques, technology and ingenuity to create incredible agricultural efficiencies.” – Bill Hilliard, CEO of Atalo.
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