Interest among farmers in industrial hemp continues to build steam. According to the latest crop report from Vote Hemp, intent from growers to plant the alternative crop is in place, with more than 511,000 acres now licensed across the U.S. This updated figure represents a 455% increase over last year’s stats.
A portion of the report reads as follows: “Intent is a useful indicator, but we know from previous years that significantly less hemp is planted than what is licensed due to a variety of factors including access to seed and/or clones as well as inexperience.”
Given that, Vote Hemp estimates 230,000 acres of the alternative crop will be planted, and 50% to 60% of that will be harvested due to factors such as crop failure, non-compliant crops, and other elements — resulting in (roughly) 115,000 to 138,000 acres of harvested product.
The organization plans to follow up with more numbers once planting and harvest data are reported.
Paul Rusnak is Senior Managing Online Editor for the U.S. Horticulture Group at Meister Media Worldwide, which includes Florida Grower, American Vegetable Grower, American Fruit Grower, and Greenhouse Grower brand titles. See all author stories here.