The growing of industrial hemp has not taken off as some envisioned when it returned to Iowa fields in 2020. Lane Kozel with the Iowa Department of Agriculture says the number of growers fell again this season.
Kozel says one of the factors is the cost of the inputs and the amount of manual labor needed to properly cultivate and grow a crop.
The processing needed to extract the CDB or to create seeds, for grain or fiber has not taken off in Iowa.
Many other states also approved industrial hemp programs, and he says that created a lot of product.
Kozel says there needs to be development of processing to use the hemp to make it worthwhile for growers to invest in.
The industrial hemp is required to pass a test that shows it has a THC level below three-point-nine percent. The crop has to be destroyed if it can’t meet that standard. Kozel says everyone passed the test this year.