While the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is still in the process of approving applications for the 2021 hemp growing season, early reports show an increase in the number of growers interested in hemp production in Alabama.
But according to an article from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), Katelyn Kesheimer, Extension entomologist and leader of the hemp action team, said a decrease in total acreage is possible despite the increase in grower numbers.
“After a couple of years of experience under our belt here in Alabama we are learning just how much time and labor it takes to produce a quality hemp crop,” she said. “Many growers with large-scale operations have decided to grow less in favor of higher quality plants.”
Alabama Extension scientists are working hard to begin research programs that will allow them to develop local recommendations for producers.
“The main thing we have learned is that we still have so much to learn,” Kesheimer said. “Hemp has not been grown legally in the U.S. prior to the most recent Farm Bills, so we are lacking a thorough history of research on this crop.”
Those interested in hemp production are invited to join the Extension team’s bi-monthly webinar on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They cover a wide variety of topics pertaining to Alabama’s hemp industry.