Wisconsin Farmers Weigh Options As Hemp Industry Booms

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Wisconsin Farmers look to hemp industry
Wisconsin farmers look to hemp industry as market begins to boom

Farmers in Wisconsin and other parts of the country are trying to figure out if growing hemp to use as grain will ever yield a profit margin. Farming think tanks believe that there are profits to be made using hemp and CBD products. According to the The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Consumer Trade and Commission Protection doled out 1300 licenses to grow hemp. They report that amount is an increase from 2018 when there were 975 licenses granted. Last year the loans that covered the state dashed the hopes of about 20 Wisconsin farms who did not produce enough hemp to sell.

No Small Cost

LaVon Felton who owns a farm in Viroqua, Wisconsin said that because of all the rain, it will never ‘be dry enough.’ Felson, who owns an organic farm, said eventually they were able to produce a help harvest, but when all was said and done, it had tested too high for mold spores. In the end the product couldn’t be sold. The organic farmer added that this whole process last year cost him $20,000.

“that’s a huge amount of loss, for someone like me.”

LaVon Felton

Hemp is relatively new to Wisconsin farmers, but Felton felt it was worth going for it, because it would help the community.

Farmers have been saying that the dairy industry is struggling. Furthermore, the tobacco industry started to show stagnation over ten years ago. Farmers are turning to hemp in droves. Mostly to see if it’s something that will give them extra cash at the end of the month. Crop production expert, Bryan Parr said that the Wisconsin soil quality is correct in order to be able to successfully grow hemp. He believes that farmers who grow will eventually see profits from it, as the demand for supply increases. Parr said, “it’s one of the only plants where the demand is steadily growing. We are not currently seeing that type of growth in another plant.”

Lucrative Business

Parr said, ‘anyone that ignores the profitability of the CBD industry, is really not looking into the future. Growing hemp to be used in CBD products is extremely lucrative’ Parr said. Those with foresight are the ones that will prosper. Those that can’t adjust to the changing tastes of the populations, will continue to face dismal financial results.

Another farmer, Bob Pulvermacher, who has a farm on the outskirts of Lone Rock, WI said, he put ‘his feet in the pond to see how they would do’. He planted a little over 3 acres of hemp on his farm last year. The farmer was able to harvest over a thousand pounds of hemp that had a very high percentage of CBD in them. He believes that’s where the money is, and where it will continue to be. The farmers who have taken the steps to plant hemp realize that as more states legalize marijuana for recreational use, the demand will only increase. Pulvemacher, believes within the the next five years it will be legal in all 50 states.

Reference

https://www.wpr.org/after-2018-challenges-wisconsin-farmers-weigh-risk-industrial-hemp