As a banner for the Midwest, Indiana has opted to focus more on fiber than CBD. Part of that might be due to the state’s attitude towards CBD flower. The state tried to ban smokable hemp earlier this year, but a federal judge threw out the case, calling it unconstitutional.
Indiana licensed 130 farmers to grow the crop in 2019. They approved 5,300 acres to plant hemp outdoors and 400,000 square feet of greenhouse production. In contrast to many states trying to take advantage of the CBD craze, only 35% of Indiana growers focused on CBD. Fifteen percent planted hemp for grain, while the other half focused on fiber. Their germination rates varied wildly from 50% to 90%.
The wet weather in May and June delayed most farmers in the region. Grain and fibers growers were delayed, while some CBD growers did not get the chance to plant until the end of July.
The wet weather brought diseases and fungi like leaf spots, southern blight, white mold, and gray mold. Flea beetles were a problem mid-summer, with some corn earworms mid to late summer. Cannabis aphids grew healthy populations at some grows in August, with some farms having more problems than others.
Pesticides have yet to be approved in the state, though thankfully, pests weren’t as big a problem as in other areas. Indoor growers had the option of releasing predatory insects — parasitic wasps for cannabis aphids and predatory mites for spider mites.
Farmers will continue to tinker with different strains as production increases, and more varieties become available. CBD farmers are still figuring out which strains grow the best in the region and will produce the biggest and best quality yields.