For most farmers in West Kentucky, this is often the time of the year when they start planning for the crops they will grow over the next 12 months. Traditionally, most farmers in this region have made a living growing soybean, corn, and wheat. But there’s another option that they are seriously considering. After the legalization of hemp, many farmers are looking at the crop as a way of supplementing their income from other crops.
Hemp is something new though. Many farmers still need time to familiarize themselves with the crop, how it’s grown, and the market available for its use. Not everyone is jumping in at the moment. In fact, farmers are choosing to get in slowly. The hope is that eventually, hemp growing will become an integral crop for farmers across the state. Besides, becoming a hemp farmer needs some significant investment. We are talking about new equipment as well as workers to help with the production. It’s possible that many farmers don’t have this kind of money lying around.
But it’s not really as hard as it looks. For example, hemp can easily be harvested using the same equipment used to harvest soybeans, wheat, and even corn. In cases where the farmers are growing the crop on a small scale basis, the harvesting can also be done by hand with a few workers. Nonetheless, the decision to start farming hemp is a no brainer for most farmers in West Kentucky. At the moment, the export of soybeans has plummeted due to Trump’s trade war with China. Wheat and corn, on the other hand, are experiencing a lot of price fluctuations due to overproduction. A lot of forward thinking farmers feel that supplementing their traditional crops with hemp could help keep the revenue coming in.
After all, there’s already a huge demand for CBD oil in the US. It’s estimated that the market will be worth billions of dollars in a few years. For many West Kentucky farmers, hemp is not just a crop to supplement but also something that can deliver long-term economic benefits. Local authorities in the region are very confident that there will be a significant number of farmers who will be turning to hemp. But this doesn’t mean the crop will replace traditional ones like soybean, wheat, and corn. It’s simply a diversification crop that helps cushion farmers from the price fluctuations associated with these traditional crops.
The excitement about hemp is also very clear to see. First, it’s something new and different than what most farmers are used to. In addition to this, it has a lot of potential when it comes to revenues. Its legalization paves the way for interested farmers to try and take full advantage of it. However, it will still take a few years before hemp becomes a mainstream agricultural product in the state. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is expected to release results of a hemp farming pilot program in order to help legislators in the state develop enabling regulations for farmers.