Industrial hemp farming hasn’t taken off as well as some had imagined when it returned to Iowa’s fields in 2020. The number of growers is down again this season, Lynn Kozel of the Iowa Department of Agriculture says.
One factor, Kozel says, is the cost of the inputs and the amount of manual labor needed to properly plant and grow a crop.
The processing needed to extract CDB or to create seed, for grain or fiber has not taken off in Iowa.
Several other states have also approved industrial hemp programs, and he says that has created a lot of product.
Kozel says there is a need to develop processing for the use of hemp to make it worthwhile for farmers to invest in.
Industrial hemp is required to pass a test showing that it contains a THC level of less than three point nine percent. The crop must be destroyed if it does not meet this criterion. Kozel says everyone passed the test this year.