Last year was the first year Michigan growers could produce industrial hemp under the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD’s) Ag Pilot Program. Many interested growers moving quickly; during 2019, there were 603 registered hemp growers and 483 licensed processors or handlers. However, not all of those that had 2019 licenses through the Ag Pilot Program did grow, sell, or process a hemp crop. MDARD will release a report in early 2020 that indicates how many growers and processors carried through with their plans for hemp production, how much growing space was dedicated to hemp, the cultivars grown, and other production data.
For those interested in growing or processing hemp during 2020, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension offers many resources on its Hemp Production website. Currently, there are three downloadable PDF bulletins by MSU experts covering feasibility, legality, and production information:
In addition to these guidelines and news updates, there are also seven webinar recordings on hemp available on the Hemp Production Resources page. They are recordings of live webinar series that were offered in 2019 and will be available as online resources for hemp growers moving forward:
In addition to these resources, interested growers will soon be able to find events that offer hemp education. As more information becomes available and as regulations change, check the Hemp Production website frequently as the content is updated.
Brian Sparks is senior editor of Greenhouse Grower and editor of Greenhouse Grower Technology. See all author stories here.