Kentucky hemp farmers react to likelihood of new Farm Bill

Published: Dec. 12, 2018 at 6:11 PM EST
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The Farm Bill has passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which is good news for Kentucky’s hemp farmers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly pushed for the bill during its lifecycle, because it included a provision that would remove hemp from the federal list of controlled substances.

Farmers in Kentucky who are already growing the crop have been watching the bill’s progress very closely.

“It sounds like the state programs will stay in place, and Kentucky has the best program of anybody. I’m very very proud,” said Laura Freeman of Homestead Alternatives.

Mount Folly Farm began growing hemp in 2015, and they grow in several varieties – some for fibers, some for food and some for CBD oil.

For farmers who used to grow tobacco like those over at Mount Folly, switching to hemp could be a lucrative alternative.

“I mean we even have pictures where we actually took the same 1947 International Harvester cultivators and cultivated the crop,” said Ben Pasley of Mount Folley Farms. “When we used old tobacco equipment to set the hemp, to cultivate the hemp and then hang it in a tobacco barn we were all crying.”

The Farm Bill still needs President Trump’s signature before it becomes law. In 2018, Kentucky farmers planted 6,700 acres of hemp, and that’s expected to rise.