Hemp farming applications soar in U.S. state of Kentucky

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A lot more than 50,000 acres (20,234 ha) have been authorized for Kentucky hemp fields in 2019, as the state’s hemp farmers get moving in the new Farm Bill era. A lot more than 1,000 Kentucky farmers received licenses to develop hemp this year, state officials mentioned.

Two-hundred Kentucky farmers grew hemp on six,700 (two,100 ha) acres in 2018, (up from five,200 in 2017) and reported strong economic final results up and down the worth chain, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles reported in a release final week.

Sales in large upswing

Kentucky hemp processors created $57.75 million in sales in 2018, soaring from $16.7 million in 2017, with processors outlaying $23.four million in capital improvements, according to state figures. Kentucky hemp operations employed a total of 459 workers final year, the state mentioned.

“We are developing the vital mass of growers, processors and researchers that will make certain the hemp industry’s achievement in Kentucky for years to come,” Quarles mentioned.

Kentucky officials also reported approval of 110 hemp processor/handler license applications so far this year, and authorized additional than six million sq ft of greenhouse space for hemp expanding.

No. three in nation

Kentucky’s six,700 acres final year created it the third greatest hemp expanding state in the USA behind Montana (22,000 acres) and Colorado (21,500).

The federal Farm Bill, which came into law at the finish of final year, removed hemp from the list of federally controlled substances, efficiently generating hemp legal to develop like any other agricultural crop.

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