Wisconsin saw a significant decline in the number of hemp growers and processors operating this year. That’s according to data from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
Hemp growers and processors are required to register annually with DATCP as part of the state’s Hemp Research Program, which will continue through the 2021 growing season.
As of Monday, DATCP had received 803 grower applications, 83 percent of which were returning applicants. That’s about 48 percent fewer applications than it received in all of 2020.
DATCP also received 477 processor applications, with about 80 percent of applications from returning processors. That’s a 37 percent decline from the previous year.
DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski said other hemp-growing states have seen a similar decline in the number of registrations. He said there are a variety of reasons why farmers and processors may not be participating in the program this year, including continued changes in how the government regulates the crop.