The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for farmers wishing to participate in the industrial hemp research pilot program. State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles anticipates this growing season will feature record acreage.
Kentucky farmers grew 33 acres of hemp in 2014. That figure increased to more than 67 hundred acres this year. Quarles anticipates hemp acreage to go up each year. “Industrial hemp is no longer a novelty. It has become a real commodity which Americans are wanting to buy. The good news is they are buying they’re buying Kentucky grown hemp products,” said Quarles.
In addition to more than 200 growers thus far, 72 hemp processors are conducting research as part of the pilot program. Quarles says these processors are producing everything from fiber based items, to seed, to Cannabidiol, a naturally occurring constituent of cannabis.