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In theory, there will a working federal law in place regarding legal hemp farming by the end of this year. The ability of farmers to grow hemp as an industrial crop is a victory hard-won, and at a time when they could certainly use the boost. It’s been hard to be a farmer in recent years.
The unpredictable weather patterns caused by climate change have resulted in millions of dollars in crop loss. Cold weather late in the season followed by a heat wave hurt vegetables and fruits all over, and that’s just the 2019 summer growing season.
Summer in 2018 saw thousands of acres of soy go unharvested in the United States. Sanctions as part of trade negotiations between the Trump administration and China led to plummeting demand for American soy. Farmers, attempting to reduce what would already be major losses on a crop they had planted chose to let the soy stand in their fields rather than waste the time and fuel required to harvest it.
That loss comes on the heels of decades of downturn in the income of small, independent farmers combined with the drastic increase in the number of massive, corporate farms. Small family farms simply don’t compete as well as they once did in an increasingly industrial and business like food production economy.
Hemp could very well represent one of the best and most universal potential cash crops for modern American farmers, as it can adapt to grow in just about any farming climate. Hemp is easy to grow, and there has always been a demand for the various products available from hemp, including its seed, oil, and fiber. The sudden nationwide fascination with CBD products has only increased the demand and the potential of farmers to profit off of hemp that they grow.
Unfortunately, the CBD craze could offer a stumbling block for farmers as well as a potential for profit and an incentive to plant hemp. Would-be hemp farmers may wind up too fixated on certain strains and overpay for genetics. They might feel that the high prices that CBD currently commands will justify their investment. However, the likelihood is that the cost for CBD and hemp oil will decrease as more farmers begin to produce domestic hemp crops.
In other words, specifically because they hope to profit from CBD, farmers may wind up disappointed. It would be better for farmers to go into hemp farming by considering it from an industrial supply standpoint. The American textile industry, as well as the health food industry and many other niche markets, could provide adequate demand for hemp products and raw hemp. Farmers caught up in the potential that they see in the so-called green rush could overextend themselves and end up regretting their decision.
For previous Ladybud articles about hemp, click here.