Area farmers learned about the challenges and opportunities for growing Industrial Hemp at a forum hosted by McLean County Farm Bureau June 25.
Western Illinois University researcher, Dr. Win Phippen, offered a look at what it takes to grow industrial hemp. Challenges include the labor intensive nature of the crop and testing requirements.
Industrial hemp has been a prohibited crop for decades, which means that there are no pesticides licensed for use on the crop plus very limited research on varieties and production methods.
Illinois Farm Bureau staff, Bill Bodine and Mike Doherty, offered overviews of the regulations and provided a market outlook for Industrial Hemp.
Farmers must obtain a license to grow Industrial Hemp from the Illinois Department of Agriculture – growing hemp without a license remains illegal.
For more information, visit the Industrial Hemp page on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website.