Hemp farmers have questions as they prepare for harvest

Local

PEQUEA, Pa. (WHTM) – Steve Groff has nearly 70 acres of hemp growing on his farm in Martic Township, in southern Lancaster County.

Groff, like more than 300 other hemp growers in the state, is nearly ready to see will come out of months of growing.

This is the first year the state has allowed farmers to grow hemp and sell it for commercial purposes.

Hemp is growing in popularity, mostly for its CDB.

On Wednesday, Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Fred Strathmyer said six- to eight-thousand acres of hemp could be harvested in Pennsylvania this fall.

Strathmyer was at Groff’s farm for a hemp field day.

Hemp could be new revenue for farmers hit hard by falling dairy prices and other challenges.

However, if farmers want to sell the CDB from hemp, they must be careful because the THC in the oil must not exceed certain levels. That’s what sets it apart from marijuana.

Hemp crops with high levels of THC must be destroyed.

“Right now, it’s just like a jigsaw puzzle,” Groff said. “You’re trying to put the pieces in place and see what piece works and what piece fits there, and pretty soon that picture will come into focus.”

While all that is happening, Strathmyer said the state is waiting for guidance from the federal government as to what to tell farmers about growing.

There will be a hemp summit in Lancaster in October. The summit is expected to take place at the Lancaster Convention Center on October 7-8.

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