Clemson University officials worked with the associates of hemp industry for this year’s expo in Florence to discuss new options for South Carolina hemp growers and producers. University officials were very pleased that it’s now possible to grow industrial hemp in the state. In fact, the growers have harvested enough yields in 2018, which is exactly what’s needed to get ready for 2019.
The Pilot Program in South Carolina
The pilot program that was conducted between 2017 and 2018 involved 20 different South Carolina farmers who were given a license to cultivate industrial hemp. The program addresses how to resolve issues like herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides, to allow for the successful growth of the plant.
Since industrial hemp is still a relatively new plant, a lot of growers are still faced with many challenges. According to a commercial horticulture agent, cultural and biological practices are still being developed in order to control the weeds and insects that are known to attack hemp.
The trial, which took one year, has found that among the most common insects that hemp farmers encounter when growing hemp are aphids, bugs, caterpillars, spider mites, and trips. Both the spider mites and aphids are more of a concern for farmers growing the crop in greenhouses than for those that grow them in the fields.
Various Uses of Hemp
Hemp comes with many uses. In fact, economists say that hemp-based sales in the United States are expected to reach a whopping $1.9 billion by 2022. This is why state economists are now looking into developing enterprise budgets for the crop because it’s extremely new in the state. 40 farmers have been given licensed to cultivate hemp in 2019. All of them are hoping to bring in more jobs to the state and to help improve the local economy.
Hemp oil is used for a wide range of purposes. It’s used in producing printing inks, soaps, fuels, shampoo, and other beauty and hygiene products. CBD or cannabinoids, on the other hand, are chemical compounds derived from hemp that’s known to treat a number of illnesses. Industrial hemp fiber is also used in producing handbags, fabrics, denim, shoes, diapers, socks, and many more.
Hemp Expo in Florence
The hemp expo in Florence attracts hundreds of hemp advocates who are applying for a license to cultivate hemp in the state and would like to learn more regarding the crop. For instance, one grower had cultivated 130 acres of the crop in November.
As someone born to a family of farmers in South Carolina, he considers this as his means of carrying on the legacy. They have grown wheat, cotton, soybeans, and corn and have raised some hogs. They are now planning on growing hemp. A lot of people are now looking at hemp as the kind of crop that can provide them with lots of opportunities for employment. Thus, they are looking at farming as a good profession.