The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service is holding its first educational program on industrial hemp in Denton County next week.

The emerging crop has peaked interest since the 2018 Farm Bill passed allowing producers to grow the crop in the U.S., according to Denton County Extension Agent Zach Davis. The seminar will be Jan. 16 at the Joseph A. Carroll building, 401 W.  Hickory St. Suite 115, Denton. It will begin with registration at 2:30 p.m. and welcome at 3 p.m., according to a press release.

Since the farm bill passed, agents have been receiving questions about what the process might look like for producers to grow the crop.

“Producers were ready to start growing and lawmakers and government officials had an ample amount of concerns regarding regulations,” Davis said in the release. “Luckily in Texas we are getting to the end of the regulatory line.”

The Texas Department of Agriculture submitted the Texas Hemp Program Outline to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in December 2019 for federal approval, according to Davis. It is estimated that rules will be approved by the USDA and licensing from TDA will begin in early 2020.

Farmers will be required to apply for a license to grow industrial hemp in Texas, Davis explained.

Industrial hemp has been around for hundreds of years, the Extension indicated. It has traditionally been grown as a fiber source and is now used in products including food and beverages, personal care products and fabrics and textiles. Industrial hemp became linked with highTHC varieties in the 1930s when legislation at state and federal levels banned its cultivation.

Davis said the seminar should be able to answer most producer questions. Extension agronomist Calvin Trostle from Lubbock will present growing information and Extension economist Blake Bennett will discuss the economic considerations for the crop.

Topic of the seminar will include industrial hemp background; opportunities for hemp fiber, grain and CBD; major issues surrounding planting and poor seed quality; anticipated TDA regulations; and economic risks and considerations.

Registration cost for the seminar will be $20, payable by cash or check. RSVPs are requested by Jan. 13 to Robin Hill at the Denton County AgriLife Extension office. She can be reached by email at robin.hill@ag.tamu.edu or by phone at 940-349-2894.

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