It has been a difficult spring for farmers across the state, including those that are growing hemp for the first time. Many of our farmers are focusing on hemp for fiber, and approximately 1,500 of the 4,000 acres registered were intended for fiber hemp.
Farmers growing fiber hemp have contracted with Sunstrand, a company located near Louisville Kentucky. Because this spring has been so unfavorable, Sunstrand is short their expected acreage by 1,000 acres. They are hoping to obtain more acreage among licensed growers and will provide recommendations to their growers.
Sunstrand will offer the seed at no cost and the payout is $75 per acre at emergence, $75 per acre at canopy closure, and $0.08 per lb. of dry hemp biomass. Sunstrand is hoping for two-four tons of dry biomass per acre, which would result in a payout of $470-790 per acre.
Farmers are responsible for all other costs of production including the transport of the square baled hemp. Sunstrand recommends growers are within 100 miles of their facility in Milton Kentucky. If there are licensed hemp growers that would like more information, they can contact Jamie Campbell-Petty at the Midwest Hemp Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news, we will be hosting a hemp field day at Meigs farm on July 19, with topic areas including; licensing and regulations around hemp, processing, planting and harvesting, agronomic practices, and pest management. Click here to pre-register by July 17.