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FIRST STATE HEMP: Delaware growers will be able to grow at least 10 acres of hemp this growing season as part of a pilot program with Delaware State University.

Delaware growers can apply for hemp pilot program

It is limited to 10 acres and requires signed agreement with Delaware State University.

The Delaware Department of Agriculture is launching the Delaware Hemp Research Pilot Program in partnership with Delaware State University’s College of Agriculture and Related Sciences.

“The research component announced today gives producers an opportunity to see if hemp is a worthwhile product for their farming operation,” says Michael Scuse, ag secretary. “The program also allows our research institutions to determine which hemp varieties will perform well for producing fiber and CBD oil in Delaware, two products in high demand that could further diversify Delaware farming operations.”

The purpose of the Hemp Research Pilot Program, established under section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill and Delaware Senate Bill 266, is to explore an alternative to the traditional row crops grown in Delaware. The legislation authorizes growers to work with permitted institutions of higher education to gain knowledge of any aspect of hemp cultivation, harvesting, processing, marketing or transportation of hemp for agricultural, industrial or commercial purposes.

For the 2019 growing season, a grower must be approved and authorized by the Delaware Department of Agriculture and affiliated with Delaware State University to grow hemp for research as approved by USDA. Production of hemp for research purposes is limited to 10 acres per approved operation. Hemp may not be grown in Delaware for general commercial activity, only as part of a research program; however, growers participating in the program will be allowed to sell their crop if all research requirements are met.

Other requirements include:

• Downloading and completing a hemp grower checklist, grower application and Delaware State University grower research agreement, all available on the Department of Agriculture website.
• Obtaining completed fingerprint cards from a local law enforcement agency in the state.
• Submitting an online FBI Criminal Background Check.

The 2018 Farm Bill officially legalized hemp and enables states and tribal governments to develop hemp production plans. However, USDA must approve these plans before producers can grow the crop for commercial production.

Individuals interested in being part of the Delaware Hemp Research Pilot Program for 2019 can go online for more detailed information and applications.

The department’s long-term goal is to establish a permanent program for hemp production.

Source: Delaware Department of Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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