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Benavidez, Lashmet discuss legal, economic hemp production risks

Free video series highlights economic and regulatory considerations in hemp production.

Can you make hemp a profitable part of your overall crop mix? This is a key question producers need to answer when considering adding hemp to their production list in 2021, says Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Economist Justin Benavidez. 

Benavidez and Extension Agricultural Law Specialist Tiffany Dowell Lashmet recently spoke with Farm Press about a free video series that not only addresses the economic risks of hemp production but the legal considerations as well. 

"One of the questions I get a lot is, 'What are the prices? How much money am I going to make producing hemp?'" Benavidez says. "What we're focusing on in this program is how do you budget those outcomes for yourself?"

The free video resource, "Hemp Education Video Series: Economic & Legal Considerations for Production in Texas," discusses hemp decision-making tools and how they are used.  

"I think we all know now, hemp's not necessarily going to be the agriculture-changing commodity we thought it might be three or four years ago," Benavidez says. "But is there potential for it to be a profitable part of your overall crop mix?" 

Lashmet addresses the legal aspect. "I think one of the big issues is there are a lot of legal and regulatory issues involved with farming hemp that aren't involved with farming other products," Lashmet says. "If I want to plant corn, I just buy seed and plant corn, right? But if I want to grow hemp, I actually have to jump through regulatory hoops with the Texas Department of Agriculture. There's a number of licenses I have to get, there are reports I'm going to have to file, there's testing that has to be done, and that's both at the state level where the Texas regulations come into play and there's also some overarching USDA regulations that people need to aware of. So, there's just a lot of legal issues at play."

The video series addresses the following topics: 

  • Hemp plant and hemp production overview by George Knapek, program manager for representative farms. "This is a fantastic 101-type lesson for anyone who wants to learn more about hemp production and the hemp industry," Lashmet said.
  • Key legal issues for hemp producers by Lashmet. "We cover the USDA Final Hemp Rule, the Texas Department of Agriculture, contracting considerations for producers, and a look at additional legal issues including nuisance, trespass, and hemp for feed," she added.
  • Hemp budgets for various products and a price outlook and overview by Benavidez.
  • Explanation of the FARM Assistance program and how it can help with financial analysis and comparisons of different crops by Greg Kaase, Extension program specialist III.
  • Crop insurance options for hemp producers in Texas by Steven Klose, professor and Extension economist farm management.

"We are excited about this project and think it will be a great source of information for farmers considering hemp production in Texas," Lashmet says.

Watch this video to learn more about the free video series. 

See, Caution advised for hemp production

 

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