Posted February 19, 2014
Kentucky agriculture commissioner, James Comer, recently announced five hemp pilot projects across the state, according to an Associated Press article available here.
The newly enacted federal farm bill allows state agriculture departments to create hemp-cultivation pilot projects for research in states that already allow the growing of hemp.
Each pilot project “will be paid for by private contributions and will focus on different possibilities for hemp,” according to a USA Today article available here. In Louisville, KY, the state’s Department of Agriculture will oversee hemp farming on an “as-yet-undetermined former industrial site to see whether the crop can help clean tainted soil.”
Chris Poynter, spokesman for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, “said hemp can help pull many contaminants out of the soil of former industrial sites, a valuable step toward potentially redeveloping so-called brownfields.”
Other projects include: a study of a “Kentucky heirloom hemp seed;” a project in conjunction with Murray State University to examine how European hemp seeds grow in Kentucky; a Central Kentucky pilot program with the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University, focused on production cost and machinery for planting, harvesting, and transportation; and a project through the University of Kentucky focusing on cultivating hemp for medical research.
For more information, a recent report on hemp as an agricultural commodity from the Congressional Research Service is available on the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.