Maybe South Dakota’s Next Big Thing is all that industrial hemp our farmers want to grow. Obstruct and delay as she might, Governor Kristi Noem can’t keep good farmers down:
Twelve growers with plots planned on 290.4 acres and three processors have received licenses so far as South Dakota returns to legal production of industrial hemp this spring.
“There are several pending license applications awaiting final approval so we expect the numbers to go up over the next several weeks,” said Brian Walsh, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
…Hunter Roberts is her cabinet secretary of agriculture and natural resources. Roberts said the department’s industrial hemp team has been busy working with growers and processors.
“We have seen a lot of interest on the grain and seed production side based on solid markets for those products. In addition, we are working to revise our state Industrial Hemp Plan based on recent legislative changes and the final USDA rule published in March,” Roberts said. “As we work through the process our goal remains having a safe and reliable industrial hemp program in South Dakota” [Bob Mercer, “Interest Stirs as S.D. Industrial Hemp Returns,” KELO-TV, updated 2021.05.08].
Derrick Dohmann, vice-president of the South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association, explains to Doug Cunningham of Today’s Farm Life that the state’s application process for growing hemp subjects growers to more hassle than gun buyers face but says getting fingerprinted by your friends at the courthouse to engage in free-market activity is no big deal:
Dohmann also notes that harvesting hemp seed and fiber may yield $700 to $800 per acre. The USDA projects that gross cash income per acre across all crops and farms nationwide will be about $500 per acre.
SDIHA’s next free how-to forum on industrial hemp happens online this week Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m.