About 500 people attended an LSU AgCenter meeting Nov. 13 to find out about the potential of growing industrial hemp as a cash crop. Experts advised that the commodity can generate income, but they warned that it’s not without risk.
Hemp has several uses. It can be grown for CBD oil that has therapeutic applications for inflammation and anxiety. It is related to marijuana, but it does not have psychoactive characteristics.
The crop also can be grown for seed to be used as food for animal and human consumption. Hemp is also grown for fiber to make a wide variety of products, including rope and industrial products.
Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture, said the public has been seeking more information about hemp. “We’ve been getting thousands of questions for our county agents,” he said.
The AgCenter first anticipated the meeting would attract about 100 people, but more than 550 registered.
Rogers Leonard, AgCenter associate vice president for plant, soil and water resource programs, said the AgCenter hasn’t had time to evaluate the crop under Louisiana conditions and develop recommendations for growing the commodity. He said a Hemp Working Group has been formed with AgCenter experts for pest control, agronomics, economics and variety evaluation.
Also, a hemp website has been developed to provide preliminary information, he said.
Source: LSU AgCenter