US (VI): Hemp growers face start-up challenges

Chris and Kelly Slayton looked over their field of young hemp plants in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and noted that they were far behind the expected growth plateau for this time of season and said simply, “We planted too late, but we couldn’t help it. We didn’t get them planted until early June.”

“There are 3,000 plants out there,” Kelly Slayton motioned over the field. “We planted each seed by hand, and we are out here tending them three times a week.”

According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, amendments to the Virginia Industrial Hemp Law, effective March 21 of this year, eliminated the previous “grown for research only” requirement that hemp cultivation and growth had previously been confined to in Virginia. The relaxed legislation resulted in an increase of industrial hemp grower applications that totaled 700 permits to grow 7,000 acres of hemp in Virginia for 2019.

There were 85 permits issued in 2018, by contrast.

Read more at lancasterfarming.com


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