Hemp Company Exec Blames FDA Position on CBD for Industry’s Troubles – DTN The Progressive Farmer

Not everyone buys Bevan’s explanation for GenCanna’s problems. After the company filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 6, Hemp Today reported that contractors for a planned processing plant complained last October that they were owed money.

The Kentucky Hemp Industries Association called GenCanna „a fraud corporation,” and Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., one of the biggest boosters of hemp in Congress, said he was „very disappointed” in the company.

Bevan said that, until last week, GenCanna „was up to date on payments to all farmers” and „wants to make everyone whole in every way.”

And Conyea, the farmer who spoke at the meeting, credited Bevan with not giving farmers wild ideas of how much money they would make compared with other people who came from out of state and told farmers to expect „outrageous profits.”

Conyea said his gross revenue from hemp is $7,000 to $9,000 per acre compared to production costs of $3,000 per acre, excluding the cost of genetics.

But some promoters from „out West,” he said, suggested to farmers that they would have revenues of $20,000 per acre.

Conyea said he had become a hemp farmer because wet weather patterns in recent years have lowered yields on traditional crops and because his son and son-in-law, who want to farm, are interested in hemp. Conyea said he regards hemp as „a rotational crop, a risk-management tool. It is not a savior.”

No chemicals are approved for use on hemp, and Conyea said he grows it as an organic crop. Conyea said that although he considers it fine that applications are being made to the Environmental Protection Agency for chemicals to be used on hemp, he is „not interested” in getting involved in the problems associated with Roundup and Monsanto, now owned by Bayer.

Some farmers harvest hemp by hand, Conyea said, but noted that this isn’t practical on any large production, and he said he has used forage equipment to harvest his crop

Although some organizations have said the government should raise the allowed THC level to 1%, Conyea said that there is no reason for a crop to rise above the allowed THC level. Conyea said he tests his crop frequently and that if the THC level is rising, he harvests it immediately.

He said crop insurance is as vital for hemp as it is for other crops.

„Bankers want the deed to my farm or crop insurance,” Conyea said.

Parks, of AgriLogic, said his company has developed a policy that will provide coverage for hemp grown for fiber, grain or CBD for the 2020 crop year. The policy will insure loss of production due to multiple natural perils, similar to other major industrial food, feed and fiber crops, he said.

However, coverage for replant, prevented planting or required destruction of the crop due to THC levels above that allowed by regulators will not be provided by the crop insurance program.

The program will initially be offered in select counties in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, with expansion to additional areas expected in subsequent crop years. The program will be available through participating Approved Insurance Providers (AIP) with a sales closing date for the initial year of March 15.

To be eligible for coverage, growers will be required to have a minimum of one year of documented growing experience and be compliant with all applicable regulations and with regulatory agencies governing hemp production for their area.

USDA informed producers last week about the new insurance option. Farmers growing hemp in states not eligible for the new policy can also enroll in the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which offers a basic coverage policy.

To be insured, hemp cannot follow acreage that was planted to any of the following in the prior year: cannabis, canola, dry peas, mustard, rapeseed or sunflowers. In addition, hemp cannot follow acreage that was planted to soybeans in the prior year in Northern states.

USDA Risk Management Administrator Martin Barbre, who was in the audience during the presentation, said RMA was under pressure from producers to develop a policy as soon as initial hemp rules were announced and praised AgriLogic for quickly putting together an initial policy.

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@njdc.com

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport


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