Since hemp was legalized with the 2018 Farm Bill–the market has seen an influx of hemp farmers. Hemp demand is up for use in applications in industries from beer to cosmetics and plastics to fabrics. As it were, farmers across the country, including Ohio, are racing to meet the demand by farming this ubiquitous crop.
As mentioned, hemp farms growing everything from industrial hemp to high-CBD hemp are popping up across the nation. In Ohio, a massive agricultural state, The Ohio Department of Agriculture received 198 applications for hemp production licenses to grow in 2020. This is a good turn out considering it is the state’s first official hemp season. While it may be lower than expected–considering the regulatory hurdles–it is a strong showing.
The state of Ohio is known as an agricultural hot spot in the US. This fertile area will likely be just as hospitable to CBD hemp as it is other crops. In fact, agricultural researchers agree that the state’s glaciated soil is ideal for a crop like hemp. While hemp does grow just about anywhere, like crops of corn and wheat it does love nitrogen-rich soil and a long growing season should prove beneficial to the hemp crop. Of course, Ohio is a state that gets quite a bit of rain but not enough to hamper hemp growing efforts according to Craig Schluttenhofer, research assistant professor at Central State University in Xenia, Ohio.
Now that hemp farmers have a year of learning the ropes under their belt–next year, things will really get underway. Says Schulettenhofer
“All of those programs now have to re-educate their growers and re-adjust to how they’re doing things,” Schluttenhofer says. This adjustment involves “hot” crop testing (for THC content) and other processing issues.
Since CBD is experiencing a strong supply at this time hemp opportunities may look like processing infrastructure and different needs of crops grown for things like grain, fiber, or cannabinoid extraction. Only time will tell but Ohio is looking like it will become a hemp powerhouse moving forward.
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