Navigating the ‘Re-Hemption’ of North America

Brian GermanField & Row Crops, Industry

Some growers have already begun investing in the future of the new hemp industry in California, as part of what is being described as the ‘re-hemption’ of the crop in the United States.  The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp and while there is excitement surrounding the new opportunity, the development of the industry is going to take some time.

Re-Hemption“The different states are having to decide how that will be developed and how we are going to legalize the production of hemp,” said Global Sales Manager of GrowMore Fertilizer, Dr. Tom Quick.  “Here in California the state legislature allowed it, but each county is weighing in.  So, we have a whole variability on how it’s being utilized in the state; how we’re allowing it to grow.”

Quick noted that the hemp industry presents enormous potential for the production of medicine, food, and fiber.  There is particular market interest in cannabidiol (CBD) products, with CBD oil offering a host of medicinal uses.  Markets are also continuing to develop as the industry expands for items such as hemp oil and fiber that is used in a multitude of products such as clothing and paneling in automobiles.

“The oil production is minor right now, certainly in California, we’re not planting a lot of oilseed crops and we’re not growing a lot of the fiber crops that you would find say in Colorado,” said Quick.  “So, that’s where we are with hemp this year in California.  We’re very optimistic in that we have a vertically integrating business.”

Although hemp is not entirely new to the American market, the longstanding prohibition of the crop has created a significant void of information on cultivation.  It will take some time for farmers, researchers and agronomists to optimize production techniques, but enthusiasm surrounding the crop remains strong.

“We rarely have in life a situation where a whole new industry develops, something like the rehemption of North America,” said Quick.  “We’re looking forward to a bright future with this crop and the young PCAs that are going to grow it and make a living on it.”

Listen to Quick’s interview below.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West