Wisconsin was previously the United State’s second largest hemp grower, with over 7000 acres of hemp farmed in 1917. It’s great to see the latest feedback from the Wisconsin hemp research pilot program throughout these various states with numerous universities.
From the Wausau Daily Herald:
Hemp farmers know it’s almost time to harvest when mourning doves show up to eat the seeds.
That’s one of many lessons Mike Omernik and Deb Tanis have learned this year growing the first hemp crop on their Wittenberg farm.
The couple is part of Wisconsin’s new research pilot program for industrial hemp that brought back a once-common crop after growth was banned for decades. Hemp is a cousin of the marijuana plant but contains very little THC, the active ingredient in pot that produces a high.
Omernik was looking for an alternative crop because corn wasn’t making the farm money, and he became interested in hemp. They applied for a license from the state in March and planted it in June. Now, it’s time to harvest their 35 to 37 acres of the plant.
“It’s a different experience,” Omernik said. “Sometimes you just got to give it a shot, see what we get.”
The crop was grown primarily in Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Dodge and Racine counties.
But according to Purdue University’s Hemp Project, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1938 halted hemp production in the United States. And the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 classifies all forms of marijuana, including hemp, as a Schedule I drug.
The plant came back into the fold in 2014 when the federal government permitted states to allow growth under pilot programs with universities or state agricultural departments. The measure also distinguishes hemp from marijuana, defining it as a plant with less than 0.3 percent THC.
Read the full story here.