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SD Farmers Showing “Lots of Interest” in Hemp

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].

South Dakota farmers aren’t afraid to change their crops and business models; it’s too bad their Governor isn’t open to new crops and new ideas.

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.



  1. grudznick 2021-05-09

    12 farmers, after all that stink. I guess this proves out grudznick’s point that all the screaming about “industrial hemp” was just a way to hide patches of demon weed being grown, and now with the I.M. numbered 26 people won’t have to hide their stashes of the green manalishi. And the price of rope and gunny sacks will probably drop.

  2. Jake 2021-05-09

    such wisdom,grudzi

  3. Mark Anderson 2021-05-09

    Grudz, I had an old friend in high school who grew hemp. We were all interested in it. Thats 1971 and our baseball team won nearly every game. I was shortstop and leadoff batter. Some of those games seemed to stretch on forever. I guess we were the Medina Spirits of our time.

  4. grudznick 2021-05-09

    You are simply admitting, Mr. Anderson, that you wild-eyed high-school boys were not braiding rope or knitting gunny sacks. I understand that.

    You were indeed a heck of a short-stop but your footwork on the pivot at second always did need some additional work.

  5. Porter Lansing 2021-05-09

    $700 an acre profit is darn good,. with no need for a new combine header or a new drill.

    grudz did yeoman’s work in helping legalize marijuana, in SD.
    By pretending he was against it, he personally flipped over 2600 voters to the “right side of history”.

    Thanks, Bob.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2021-05-09

    Well…it grows all over Nebraska…the anti pot crowd wanted to eradicate it in the 70’s but found, after a legislative study, that Cannabis was present on over a million acres of Nebraska farmground. (It was grown there in WWII>). The Niobrara Valley is full of it and the Cornhusker State has not turned into the psychedelic capitol of America.Its a good cover for eroded and marginal soil, has wildlife and songbird benefits, and as every pot grower knows, cattle will eat it.(Some say prefer it). If it turns out to be a paying crop, its a windfall for South Dakota as it grows well in droughty conditions and outcompetes thistles. Its highly unlikely to be a mental health threat to anyone but Governor Noem. You have to work awfully hard to get high on Cannabis that isn’t Sativa.

  7. Richard Schriever 2021-05-09

    Back when I was feeding a lot of cattle – we once purchased several semi-loads of “hay” from Kansas to be ground into haylage and blown up into our Harvestor silos. Those flatbeds seemed to be loaded with substantially more hemp bales to hay bales and the cattle did indeed enjoy munching it quite well.

  8. T 2021-05-10

    There will be more
    The paperwork is time consuming and full of obstacles as well.

  9. Jake 2021-05-10

    T-this is MIND-BOGGLING news! BREAKING NEWS! In ‘small’ government GOP run South Dakota one has to jump through all these hoops, even be finger-printed in order to grow a crop? Isn’t this government overreach? Socialism? “leff-wing’ bureau-crats?
    And what other hypocritical elements do we see here-in our
    GOP, conservative, small government is best state?

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