Madison County has a very diverse number of crops and livestock that make up its agricultural industry. This year we have added one more to the list: Industrial Hemp. Madison County is in what is considered a “hot” zone for the number of industrial hemp license holders which equates to between 57-95 growers. This is a new crop for all of us and Extension was able to help growers through each step of the process. Many of our farmers did not know effective ways to market their end product whether that be seeds, transplants or end product and it isn’t every day that a completely new crop comes around.
Extension was able to assist these farmers by having an informational meeting about who was eligible to grow, how to complete the application, production methods and possible end products. The meeting also hosted a grower panel with over 130 people in attendance. There were also one on one farm visits and phone calls were made during the season.
Extension helped 2 hemp growers that grew transplants of industrial hemp move their product by educating them about the Hemp Connections page on NC Extension website and placing their info on it. Extension also educated several farmers on how to obtain seed dealers license to start marketing smaller quantities of seed for our North Carolina growers. These farmers were able to be successful with their first year producing Industrial Hemp and are planning on continuing next year.