A whopping 1,100 percent increase in a year with more than 2,600 farmers and businesses acquiring licenses to grow hemp has left many astonished in the state of Tennessee.
Experienced farmers who have pioneered the rearing of Tennessee hemp worry that the new cash crop is expanding too fast for the new farmers to fully understand the enormity of the situation.
Hemp which is an exciting crop is equally demanding, which without proper attention or preparation can lead to downfall.
Bill Corbin, a Springfield farmer who is well versed with the growing of hemp exclaims “It’s like a new gold rush, and that’s not really a good thing,”
He reminds that with the lucrative nature of the market drawing in many, there would be countless naïve and susceptible growers who would readily partner with anybody at the promise of moon.
Owing to Tennessean public records request, the Department of Agriculture recently released documents detailing the growth of new hemp farmers which has marked a stark increase over the past year.
The licensing data showcased that a large number of farmers are now cultivating hemp in lands less than 5 acres while also marking a dramatic surge in commercial hemp farming sector.
Hemp crop which marks resemblance to marijuana does not contain the THC chemical that causes euphoric high, due to which it has been termed legal and has been allowed to grow as an agricultural crop in Tennessee through the government test program. Generally, the uses of Hemp traces back to being grown as a fiber for use in cloth, ropes, and other construction materials.
The studies not being completely verified or evidenced hasn’t jaded the prospectus of CBD leading to a sudden surge in the growth of hemp by farmers who are lured by attractive profit margins in the industry.
Tennessee, which had a record of only 44 and 64 licensed growers in 2015 and 2016 respectively had its numbers increased to 117 and 226 in 2016 and 2017 respectively. While the farmers grew a collective 4,700 acres last year, a majority of farms belonged to Brothers Zeke and Eli Green – one of the few commercial operations in the states.
But according to the recent license data, at least 37 Tennessee farms have been granted the license to grow hemp in over 100 acres of land with 5 farms permitted to grow on more than 1,000 acres.
This sudden surge in the industry has veteran hemp growers worried as the new farmers do not grapple the entirety of situation in rearing hemp. Even with the CBD market prospering, Hemp is infamously expensive and requires the utmost care.
With the federal government not approving any pesticides for the crop, the cultivation has to be done wholly without any such aid, which may prove to be a challenge for novice growers.
Billy Wall, who rears hemp over 70 acres of farms and has a hemp processing lab in Murfreesboro, stated that his company, Benmar Extractions, had been actively involved in conducting seminars and presentations to educate the new hemp growers on the various pitfalls of the hemp industry and how to play it safe.
His utmost advice to the new farmers is to ‘start small’. With the industry continuing to bloom in the coming years, Billy Wall states that starting safe and small would allow farmers to fully understand and comprehend the operations of the industry. He reinstates that a large investment without proper knowledge would crumble the farmers and lead to failure.