Recent history indicates that Wisconsin can grow hemp abundantly, despite the area’s long winters and humidity making it a difficult place for crop cultivation.
Thanks to the decades of marijuana criminalization, growers will have to relearn how to nourish hemp and which cultivars will thrive in the state’s climate. This was Wisconsin’s 3rd year of hemp growing and processing under the pilot 2014 Farm Bill program. Richard Rob, Wisconsin Hemp Alliance’s president, said that the preceding two years were decorated with wet weather, however, this year was better.
He added that people were quite down concerning the wetness of those years. He thinks that this year, in a hemp growth perspective, has been incredible.
Wisconsin authorized around 14,100 acres for growing hemp in 2020, a decrease from 2019’s 16000 acres. This year’s 1299 cultivation licenses remained almost the same as 2019’s 1325.
Although 2020’s licensed acreage is lower than last year’s, it doesn’t indicate declining interest. Even though finding hemp biomass buyers has been an onerous exercise (due to multiple cannabinoids in the market) farmers are still optimistic about the crop’s potential.
Ellison Shelby, a horticulture associate professor at the Wisconsin-Madison University, said that a lot of folks still want to cultivate hemp and learn how to grow it appropriately, however, they don’t want to lose most of their funds.
She added that they’re prepared to handle small crop returns but eager to get better at cultivating it to satisfy the expected demand in the sector’s future.
One of the current challenges of Wisconsin is most of the hemp seeds are sourced from Colorado or other western areas characterized by drier climate. The state’s humidity also makes crops more susceptible to infections.
Ellison said that farmers have to learn how to cultivate more malady-resistant strains within the Midwest that can withstand more humidity and disease pressure.