A growing interest in hemp production on the Rolling Plains has prompted the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to host the Rolling Plains Industrial Hemp Conference, Nov. 5, at the Sikes Lake Center at Midwestern State University at Wichita Falls.
“With no infrastructure or research on hemp in the region, we want to provide the most relevant and unbiased information for our area so producers and potential investors can make informed decisions in the outset of a potential new ag industry," said David Graf, AgriLife Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Wichita County,
"We realize there is a lot of information out there concerning hemp,” said Brent Batchelor, AgriLife Extension regional program leader, Stephenville. “Our hope is this conference will begin the process of sorting through the possibilities for the future.”
Dr. Calvin Trostle, AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock, will provide an introduction to the hemp industry. He will discuss hemp products and processing as well as the differences in growing seeds and transplants, growing for CBD oil or fiber, and equipment needs.
Ryan Wainer, Rocky Ford Hemp Co., Colorado, will address farming for CBD oil in Colorado. He will discuss growing practices such as planting and harvesting, weed and irrigation management, and variety selection, as well as THC/CBD levels and pricing structure – the price paid for 10 percent levels versus higher or lower.
A Texas Department of Agriculture update on hemp production regulations will be provided by Dan Hunter, TDA assistant commissioner for Water and Rural Affairs, Austin.
Following lunch, Trostle will provide more information on production considerations such as planting date, plants per acre, seed depth, water needs, weed control, insects, diseases, fertilizer rates and timing, and soil type.
Pancho Abello, AgriLife Extension economist, Vernon, will present an economics rundown for hemp producers.
A question and answer panel will wrap up the program along with Batchelor outlining AgriLife Extension’s role in hemp production.
Those interested in attending are asked to preregister by Oct. 28 to the AgriLife Extension office in Wichita County at 940-716-8610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The conference fee is $50, which includes a meal and educational materials, and is payable at the door.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m., followed by a welcome at 9:15 a.m. by Barry Mahler, Wichita County commissioner and conclude at 3:30 p.m.
Directions to the Sikes Lake Center are as follows: take U.S. Hwy. 287 to Kell W. Boulevard. Take Taft Boulevard exit off U.S. Hwy. 277 S. and go south to Midwestern Parkway. Turn right at the first stoplight and left to the facility.
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