Extension Assistant Professor Andrew Branan recently traveled to Caldwell County to address farmers and other interested parties with an overview of the history and reemergence of industrial hemp, its developing regulatory structure and how processors are securing production through contracts with farmers. Presenting with Andrew was Dr. Meagan Coneybeer-Roberts who reviewed various production and agronomic issues, as well as results from trial work at the Mills River Research Station. The program also featured input and perspective from law enforcement on the recent proposal to prohibit smoke-able hemp as part of the states annual Farm Act. The program closed with panel of producers and processors – including newer producers and older farmers – to share their production experiences both good and bad, with all in agreement that the the money potential is significant for a well-managed crop. The event, originally scheduled for the county Cooperative Extension Center, was moved to the larger James E. Broyhill Civic Center due to public and grower interest in the topic.
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