Hemp Farming is on the Rise in the Bluegrass State
Hemp farming is on the rise in Kentucky. While hemp has been grown in Kentucky since at least the 17th century, Federal Law banned the cultivation of these plants under federal law until 2014. This article takes a detailed look at recent developments in hemp cultivation. For much more information on these topics, visit our Hemp Laws page.
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018
In December 2018, the, otherwise known as the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing hemp throughout the United States. The law took effect on December 20, 2018. It removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and legalized it as an agricultural commodity. It also created a legal framework for hemp production in all 50 states. Since the Agricultural Act of 2014, Kentucky has become a leader in hemp farming.
The state’s Department of Agriculture currently manages a hemp registry, which tracks the state’s licensed growers, processors, and handlers of the plant. However, the state still covers its hemp industry under the auspices of a pilot program to win approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). For more on the state of American hemp cultivation, visit DBA’s sister site Marijuana Business Daily.
Up until the 1970s, hemp farming was a common practice in Kentucky. Then, the federal government enacted laws banning hemp cultivation and essentially all hemp-derived products. Kentucky did not need to contend with the federal directive for many years, and hemp farming remained a relatively common practice. The Farm Bill: What Will Likely be in the Next One?
The Farm Bill, which is passed by Congress once every five years, is a crucial piece of legislation for U.S. agriculture. The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law in December 2018, will significantly impact hemp farmers for years to come. Kentucky’s Hemp History
Hemp was one of the most common crops raised in the Bluegrass region and elsewhere in the United States during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. During the Civil War, hemp was one of the essential agricultural products grown in the state. There are many accounts of hemp-growing operations and the farmers who cultivated them.
During the Great Depression, hemp was an important agricultural crop for the United States. However, the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and World War II realities caused a decline in Kentucky’s commercial and domestic hemp production. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early ’70s that hemp cultivation was legal. However, hemp never brought it back to its pre-1937 levels. While others damaged many industrial crops, hemp was an excellent source of fiber and a cheap source of protein.
As the federal government began to shift its focus from farming to business, farmers no longer needed to grow as many different crops to guarantee economic security. Starting in the 1930s, the government encouraged farmers to produce more industrial crops. In particular, it promoted the growing of hemp to help the country’s developing industries and protect its more critical farming industries.
Hemp was used to making numerous products, including cloth, rope, paper, etc. In 1938, the Government of the United States made the cultivation of hemp illegal. Hemp is grown primarily in the Midwest and the southern states, and most hemp was used to produce clothing, rope, and canvas. During World War II, the government imposed a nationwide ban on hemp due to the raw material required for the war effort.
In the United States, hemp was a valuable crop, having first been grown in the country in 1611. The yield was practical for its strong fibers, used for ropes and sail canvas. It was cultured in Kentucky because across from California. The cotton crops had been affected by boll weevil infestation. Thus, because of the demand for hemp by the automobile industry, this plant was grown as a substitute for cotton.
Kentucky farmers grew hemp at the rate of about 60,000 acres each year. They cultivated the plant for rope and other materials used for making tires. Today, the hemp industry is on the rise. Hemp is loaded with health benefits, nutritious, and biodegradable. It is used in many commercial and consumer products, including food, clothing, animal feed, biofuels, plastics, and construction products.
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