SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Farmers in Siouxland will soon have a new option during planting season. Monday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill to legalize industrial hemp production in the state.
The law legalizes hemp production that could begin as early as 2020. Woodbury County farmer Dolf Ivener says he is strongly considering planting hemp next year, hoping it will add some financial security in a difficult agriculture economy.
“Farmers throughout the Midwest are looking for other opportunities for revenue. Our backs are against the wall, and we need every opportunity we need we can have for us to be successful and that we have operations where we have something we can leave to our children other than debt,” said Ivener.
On Monday, Governor Kim Reynolds signed Iowas hemp bill into law.
“It’s an interesting time in agriculture where folks are looking for some opportunities to diversify, to bring a different crop onto the farm, so we think that industrial hemp can potentially do that,” said Mike Naig, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
Now the Iowa Department of Agriculture will develop a plan to license and regulate the production of hemp in the state that must be approved by the USDA.
“Farmers will be able to then apply for a permit there will be fees and then they will be approved to grow hemp up to 40 acres,” said David Hall, with the NuHemp Group.
The bill also regulates the THC levels in hemp crops to what is considered safe for use in a variety of hemp-based products.
“This has got a huge impact for Iowa farmers economically due to the fact that there is a lot of potential in selling the CBD high strains and biomass on the market,” said Hall.
“Every opportunity that farmers have to make a living is great, right,” said Ivener.
If you’re a farmer considering adding hemp to your crops, the NuHemp Office in the Ho-Chunk Centre is available for any questions or help with the process.