Farmers, processors, universities, and others interested in conducting an industrial hemp pilot project in 2016 are invited to apply, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has announced.
“The industrial hemp pilot projects have yielded valuable information the past two years,” Commissioner Comer said. “We look forward to another successful round of projects and encourage applicants to submit proposals to research hemp production, processing, manufacturing, and marketing. This work will help establish Kentucky as the epicenter of America’s industrial hemp industry once the remaining legal barriers to hemp production are removed.”
Applicants must complete an application and submit it to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture no later than Nov. 5, 2015. Applications and instructions are available on the KDA’s website at www.kyagr.com/hemp.
The department received 326 applications and approved 121 in 2015. This year’s planting intentions totaled more than 1,700 acres, of which more than 922 acres were planted. In 2014, the first year of industrial hemp pilot projects, projects totaled just over 30 acres.
The 2014 federal farm bill permits industrial hemp pilot programs in states where hemp production is permitted by state law. Legislation passed in the 2013 Kentucky General Assembly established a regulatory framework for industrial hemp production in Kentucky. Commissioner Comer led a bipartisan effort in support of the legislation, known as Senate Bill 50.
For more information, contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Program at (502) 573-0282, Option 1, or [email protected]