Kentucky’s Hemp Crops Flourish After Troubled Start

KENTUCKY:  It took a legal fight just to get the seeds in the ground, but two months later, Kentucky’s first legal hemp crops in decades are flourishing.

The hemp plants have grown from 6 to 16 feet in two months and researchers say that’s a good sign for what could be a new cash crop for Kentucky.

“It’s exciting,” said University of Kentucky plant researcher David Williams. “It’s new. It has potential. And so it’s very fun. It’s a lot of fun to be involved in something that’s new and potentially possible for Kentucky farmers.”

Williams will harvest UK’s hemp crop in September and compare its growth to 12 other varieties he planted.

Hemp Crop Takes Root In Kentucky

KENTUCKY:  A month after the seeds for Kentucky’s first legal hemp crop were released to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, hundreds of leafy plants are growing in research fields across Kentucky.

After initial fears that government holdups on delivering the seed would limit growers’ ability to get a good crop, seeds were released and planted around Memorial Day — beating a June 1 mark set by the Kentucky organizers of new trials to avoid significantly reduced yields.

Holly VonLuehrte, a spokeswoman for the state agriculture department said initial growing reports are good — shoulder high already in at least one location — and those assessments are echoed by two of the growers interviewed.

“The research will show that this is a crop that grows well in Kentucky, but particularly well out west at least thus far,” VonLuehrte said. “All indications are it’s not just doing well,” it’s doing “extremely well.”