The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has announced 20 farmers who have been selected for the second year of the state’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.
The growers were selected from 162 applicants. The 20 farmers will work with the 19 already participating in the pilot’s first year.
“Instead of 40 we could have easily picked 80 with no problems at all in terms of qualifications,” state Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said. “We were looking for geographic disbursement around the state. We were looking for a mixture of experienced agriculturalists. We were looking for good marketing plans with a qualified processor.”
Farmers were selected from 24 counties statewide.
Weathers said, as expected, the program’s first year was a learning process for the initial farmers selected to grow up to 20 acres of industrial hemp. Among the “learning-intensive first year” issues: soil diseases, aphids, seed acquisition, processing and weather. [Read more…]