South Carolina: 1st Hemp Season Getting Started

Photo: Justin Ballew, Clemson University

This time a year ago the SC General Assembly passed a bill establishing the SC Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.  20 farmers from around the state were selected to participate in the first year of the program (2018). 

These growers are busy preparing their fields and growing transplants for the first industrial hemp crop in SC since the 1940’s.  Industrial hemp contains .3% THC or less and will be processed into either food, fiber products, or CBD (cannabidiol) supplements.

Most growers are opting to start their plants in the greenhouse and later transplant them in the fields.  A lot of folks are growing mother plants from seed, then making cuttings that they will take to the field once they are rooted.

Each cutting is a clone of the mother plant. CBD growers want only female plants, so cloning ensures only females are planted.

We have a lot to figure about hemp cultivation in SC and we expect this year to be a great learning experience.  Some of the pests we expect to see include spider mites, aphids, caterpillars, powdery mildew, leaf spot diseases, and weeds.

Applications for the 2019 season are available now through June 29.  The SC Dept. of Agriculture will select 40 growers for the second year of the pilot program.  For anyone interested, take a look at the application here.


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