For more than 50 years, Smith Brothers Farm in Erie has been known for its Barbara Ann potatoes, corn and soybeans. This year, a new crop has emerged that has become the rage in Michigan and the Midwest – industrial hemp, or cannabis. It is a versatile plant grown for its fiber, seed and oil.
Hemp flower mass have never been in higher demand, said representatives from GreenFarms told about 75 growers at a hemp field day held Thursday afternoon at the farm off County Road 151 at Strasburg Rd.
Local crop insurance expert Mike Gaynier from Spartan Insurance Agency showed off his 24-acre plot he rented behind the main farm along with Blake Maddox, vice president of farm operations and a medical farmer for GreenFarms. The open house enabled visitors to get a closeup look at hemp and to discuss their concerns about growing the crop with consultants and members of the GreenFarms team.
“We want to expose them to what we have done here,” Gaynier said about the two demonstration plots he contracted with the firm. “Our goal is to get commitments to grow the crop so we can get a processing plant here. We gotta have a processor.”
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