For many Midwest hemp farmers, the first year was as ‘bad as it can get’

Nearly all Midwest states are allowing hemp production, but there have been a variety of approaches to the rollout. That has led to a frustrating first year for growing the crop.

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National News

January 21, 2020 - 9:47 AM

Commercial hemp crop. BIGSTOCK IMAGES Photo by Harvest Public Media

Many farmers are wrapping up a frustrating first year of growing hemp, which was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.

“It’s kind of a good way to start, in that that’s about as bad as it can get,” said Jeff Cox, Bureau Chief of Medicinal Plants at the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “There’s a lack of expertise, just a general lack of knowledge as to how to grow hemp the best way.”

The Farm Bill left regulation up to the states. And while nearly all Midwest states are allowing hemp production, there have been a variety of approaches to the rollout.

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