WACO, Texas – Last Monday, the USDA gave Texas farmers the green light to grow hemp throughout the state.
Brant Wilbourn of the Texas Farm Bureau sees this as a huge win.
“This gives farmers in Texas another alternative crop to grow in the state, and we’re very excited for those farmers, given the current agricultural economy,” says Wilbourn.
Earlier this month, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller warned farmers about growing a new crop.
“Farmers are their own worst enemy. You tell them they’re going to make a profit, they plant the world level and then they have too much product and they can’t sell it,” says Miller.
Marijuana and hemp comes from the same cannabis plant. The difference between the two is the THC concentration. Anything more than 0.3 percent is called marijuana – below this mark is called hemp.
Hemp is used for textiles, clothing, oils, industrial products, and even food.
However, one farmer says the hemp percentage is too low for producers to make a profit.
“Without a change to that rule, I couldn’t in good conscience encourage Texas farmers to grow for high CBD varieties in the state,” says Coleman Hemphill, President of the Texas Hemp Industries.
To become eligible to grow hemp, farmers must obtain a permit and their crop must be tested.
Farmers say to get the THC level to below 0.3 percent, they need to grow at a faster rate compared to other crops.
Adding that the time of when they get the results of the crop test could vary, putting them at a huge disadvantage.
“The idea that you will harvest an entire field in 15 days is outside the frame of reality,” says Hemphill.
The growing of hemp is not yet legal as the USDA and the Texas Agriculture are currently taking submissions. Once revised, it’s expected to become law.