Farmers are pulling in their hemp crops in Michigan in what for many was a test run this year. Michigan handed out 572 licenses to grow hemp and 423 to process and handle it this year for their pilot program. Farmers are looking to test the viability of the crop as a way to help make ends meet, the Morning Sun reports. With so little knowledge about how to grow the crop, it was up in the air as to how well things would go.
Michael Klumpp, CEO of Ag Marvels LLC, optimistic about the future of the crop. He runs a family farm that produces 3,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, and now a 20-acre plot of hemp. His business as a processor is booming now with over 50 growers in his customer base. He is eager to build the infrastructure to get the raw hemp processed and turned into usable extracts.
His facility right now is able to process 2,500 pounds of hemp a day, with hopes to expand that to 5,000. He is able to take plants that have already been dried and ground up or perform those steps for the farmers for a fee. Michael’s barn sports a biomass drier and three hanging barns to tend to his customers’ needs.
As farmers grow their hemp production in line with their confidence in the crop, finding more uses for the plant is next in the works. Finding a way to use the spent biomass once it has been extracted would be a huge help. The stalks are useful for fiber, and the woody core can be used to manufacture wood or hempcrete. They are useful materials that will hopefully be taken advantage of soon.