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Hemp agriculture roundup: Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota and more


If you’ve been following hemp news on the Nothing But Hemp blog or across the wider web, you know how much new hemp products mean for American farmers.

Throughout the U.S., agriculturalists are turning to hemp to offset lost sales from declines in other crops, whether they be due to dwindling interest in tobacco or casualties of the trade war with China. Regardless, its use in textiles and CBD oils and other products that have generated a fast and loyal following, hemp has come to the rescue for many farmers.


Here’s a sampling of hemp growing around the country during this, the first official planting season since the crop was legalized in 2018:


Farmers in Maine are turning to hemp for its lucrative opportunities, according to the Portland Press Herald.


Yields can bring farmers between $20,000 to $25,000 per acre for hemp harvests, which is much more profitable than some other crops.


Maine has 167 farmers listed for the 2019 season to farm on 2,706 acres of hemp.


“I was excited in January and February, planning it and getting it going,” Maine Farmer John Black told the Press Herald. “Now it’s the real deal. I tell people, it’s not the hardest I’ve ever worked, but it’s the longest hours. Lucky those tractors have lights and navigation because there’s been 11 o’clock nights.” [5]


North Dakota, meanwhile, has 64 farmers licensed to grow hemp, twice the amount as in 2017 when access was limited to research and other approved uses. [4]


A Dept. of Agriculture meeting in Bismarck meant as a crash course on hemp planting, growing and the uses of the end product recently drew 70 interested attendees.


“If people want this, we’ll grow it,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. [4]


North Dakota may have issued twice as many permits as two years ago, but in Pennsylvania 10 times the number of farmers turned out for permits in 2019 as in 2018. [3]


Penn State Extension is hosting a convention for interested farmers in early August to share university’s agriculture expertise it has gained over years of research. [3]


In Nebraska, reporting in the Lincoln Journal Star shows that Ag Department staffing issues meant far fewer farmers were able to get their permits approved than applied for them. [2]


Of 176 filed applications, 10 were randomly chosen for assessment and only six of those were approved.


"I'm pretty sure I'm going to make some mistakes, but I'm making mistakes at a small scale. I'll learn something from that," farmer and economics professor Allan Jenkins said. "Hopefully next year a lot of people will get to plant.” [2]


And Kentucky has the most farm land dedicated to hemp of all the states, at 60,000 acres.

“Hemp has exploded,” Jack Mazurak told Kentucky.com. “We are almost in disbelief about the number of inquiries we’re getting (about the crop).” [1]


Over $90 million is invested into different hemp farms, companies and processors across Kentucky. [1]


Sources

[1] https://www.kentucky.com/news/business/article232793767.html

[2] https://www.starherald.com/news/regional_statewide/hemp-growing-on-select-few-nebraska-farms-approved-for-licenses/article_6e7b5d92-346c-5f2b-a460-2cdbf41e25d5.html

[3] https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/penn-state-extension-holding-industrial-hemp-workshop-for-farmers/?printerfriendly=true

[4] https://apnews.com/eb637e872e3f49f08c4032cc38268e8a

[5] https://www.pressherald.com/2019/07/19/more-maine-farmers-see-hemp-as-an-agricultural-savior/

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