If you want to start a bamboo farm, you would need space and extensive planning to propagate it commercially. What you will spend in 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. If it needs additional tilling and soil conditioning, you would have to spend more.
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 a degree most suitable for bamboo growing.
Plantation: You can have bamboos for planting by growing them yourselves from a 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 make sure the bamboo variety you’ve chosen is suited to your place’s climate and soil, grow it on a small scale first. Planting bamboos should follow recommended specifications, particularly with regards to spacing. Some farms use CAD program and hire computer technician to measure distances so as to draw a master plan that includes the quantity and appropriate placement of bamboo groves, as well as irrigation system design.
Maintenance: Bamboos are 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, for example, how much water does it need for a given period. Generally, bamboos need watering once or twice a week in the first few months. Also think about leaves cutting and pruning as your plantation grows.
Harvesting: Bamboos take years to grow. It will take about six years before you can have your first harvest, which means 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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