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'This is still a high-risk crop': Farmers frustrated as hemp pilot program works through second year

Credit: WISC
Published on October 20, 2019 -

'This is still a high-risk crop': Farmers frustrated as hemp pilot program works through second year

Gov.

Tony Evers declared Friday to be Wisconsin Hemp Day, acknowledging the enormous growth the industry has had in just the last two years.

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'This is still a high-risk crop': Farmers frustrated as hemp pilot program works through second year

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Governor tony evers has declared today wisconsin hemp day, acknowlegding the enormous growth the industry has had in just the last two years.

But with the successes that growth has brought, there have also been failures.

Amy reid shares why hemp growers say the system needs to be looked at.

34:10 once you peel back the layers of the leaves, what you've got there now is your flower :15 in the time randy cohn has grown hemp, he's learned a lot.

And grown a lot.

Even experimenting with different ways of drying the in-demand product.

36:05 they're not quite ready yet.

They still got a ways to go :06 overall, he said the experience has gone well, but still this year, he had to destroy about a hundred pounds of his hemp because it tested too high in thc.

Though he's still looking profitable, many farmers in a similar situation could lose tens of thousands.

20:16 it's part of the high risk nature of this crop.

:19 the state department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection is overseeing this program, which, like many of the farmers, is new.

It also went from 135 growers in its first year to more than a thousand this year.

To compensate, the agency added more samplers who could test the hemp, but only a couple dozen compared to the thousands of samples they had to do.

Brian kuhn said the organization is learning, but farmers should understand the risk with hemp and signing on to a pilot program.

21:17 there's a lot of promise and a lot of potential, but right now there's still a lot of risk with it, because we jsut don't have the experience with the crop and what they do here in wisconsin :26 to have any real track record for how you have to manage that crop :31 47:27 it is a high risk, but there's also things that can be done to mitigate soem of that risk :31 this isn't randy's first time growing a crop, but he said hemp is different, and volatile.

Because farmers depend on the agency, he hopes this process will be smoothed out for next year.

48:16 in the future we hope to work together to try and mitigate some of this risk for the farmer :19 kuhn said datcp is dependent on directive from the state legislature, and bills are in progress for this process.

While the department works on changes for next year, they are also getting ready for the next round of

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