Ky. Department of Agriculture looking for hemp growers for 2015



jpatton1@herald-leader.comDecember 1, 2014 Updated 10 hours ago



Rich Mundell, a University of Kentucky agronomist and co-project leader, drove a tractor with a sickle bar mower to cut the experimental hemp crop in September.


The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is taking applications for next year’s industrial hemp pilot projects. Potential growers must apply by Jan. 1; farmers who are chosen will be notified in late January.

“The first round of pilot projects with the universities and individual farmers in 2014 yielded a tremendous amount of data about production methods, seed varieties, harvesting and processing techniques, and uses for the harvested hemp,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said in a statement.

“We’re looking to conduct a wide scope of pilot projects in 2015. When the day comes that commercial hemp production is open to all producers and processors in Kentucky, we want to be ready.”

Hemp was grown in 2014 for the first time since it was outlawed decades ago along with marijuana, which has far more of the high-inducing chemical THC. Several research plots were grown by universities, and a handful of farmers grew private plots. Results of the research projects are likely to be released by the end of January.

To grow hemp, applicants must provide the physical address of the production fields and anywhere the hemp will be processed or stored.

Applicants who are selected will undergo background checks and site visits. A person with a felony drug conviction within 10 years of submitting an application will not be eligible to participate in any pilot project, according to the state.

The application is available for download on the department’s website, Applications may be completed electronically and submitted to Applications also may be printed, filled out and mailed to Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Industrial Hemp Program, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, Ky. 40601.

Janet Patton: (859) 231-3264. Twitter: @janetpattonhl.

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