Hemp

A close-up of industrial hemp,  July 16, 2013.
Marcia O'Connor/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)


The Montana Department of Agriculture received the green light late last week on its hemp plan after outlining how it would meet stricter federal regulations, including testing and sampling. Some farmers may experience more stringent regulations in 2021.

A lavander field.
osde8info / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Federal crop insurance is a safety net for many farmers and rural communities but it typically favors the big commodities like corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton. A few years ago, a new type of insurance emerged to cover everything grown or raised on a farm under one umbrella, even specialty crops like hemp and lavender that don’t have their own policies. It’s been slow to catch on but a few modifications may entice more farmers to get on board in 2020. 

A close-up of industrial hemp,  July 16, 2013.
Marcia O'Connor/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester said in a press call Thursday new federal regulations for hemp could create more certainty for farmers and boost job growth in the state.

Wheat and barley fields south of Manhattan, Montana, April 27, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

2019 was a weird year for agricultural production in Montana. That’s according to one of the presenters at the upcoming Agricultural Economics Outlook Conference in Bozeman this Friday.

Less than a year ago, industrial hemp was essentially an outlaw crop. Today it’s transformed into the wellspring of an emerging billion-dollar industry. The cannabis extract cannabidiol is a hemp byproduct, better known as CBD. Demand for CBD-infused products such as bath salts, balms and body bars is through the roof.

MTPR's Edward O’Brien recently visited a Montana hemp processing facility that’s transforming the tough, fibrous plant into liquid gold.

Martin Abegglen / Flickr


The Montana Department of Agriculture has extended its application deadline for farmers interested in planting industrial hemp.

It's officially Hemp History Week. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution that recognizes the “full growth potential of the industrial hemp industry.” But at the state level, real progress for the hemp industry is still all over the map.