CoBank: Hemp Offers Big Risks, Big Rewards to Agriculture

Dan Hemp, Industry News Release


(NAFB) — Since the 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, agriculture has never been more interested in adding hemp to its crop rotations. A lot of available information says there’s a large financial upside to the industry.

Producers responded to that by tripling hemp acreage between 2017 and 2018. However, CoBank says that false, outdated, biased, or contradictory information can make it difficult to navigate the industry. CoBank’s Knowledge Division released a report that includes nine risks or uncertainties that face each of hemp’s three crops and markets, which include fiber, grain/seed, and CBD production.


Crystal Carpenter, a specialty crop analyst, says,” Overall, CBD production has the highest level of risk across the board due to a range of factors. The industry could face many headwinds from seed quality, labor costs and availability, THC limit risks, as well as long-term acceptance by the Food and Drug Administration.” Carpenter adds that the risks of a new industry like hemp are compounded by potential legal and regulatory hurdles.

The USDA is expected to release hemp regulations and guidance soon. The timing of future FDA regulation will be critical to long-term demand for CBD.

Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters