202 episodes

Lancaster Farming newspaper editors talk to farmers and experts about industrial hemp.

Lancaster Farming Industrial Hemp Podcast Eric Hurlock, Digital Editor

    • News
    • 4.6 • 67 Ratings

Lancaster Farming newspaper editors talk to farmers and experts about industrial hemp.

    Congress Examines USDA Hemp Program

    Congress Examines USDA Hemp Program

    Last week, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research held a hearing to examine the USDA Hemp Production Program.
    The subcommittee heard from a panel of producers, researchers, tribal members, and state ag commissioners that gave an overview of the hemp industry and offered insight toward the 2023 Farm Bill.
    Noting the absence of representatives from USDA and FDA, ranking member Jim Baird from Indiana said, “I do believe it is a missed opportunity that we don’t hear from the federal agencies tasked with implementing provisions on hemp today.”
    On this week’s podcast, we will listen to highlights from the hearing, including testimony from Colorado Ag Commissioner Kate Greenberg, who offers five recommendations for how Congress can provide support to federal agencies to allow for greater flexibility and improve state-run hemp programs. First on her list is removal of DEA requirements for testing labs.
    “Our state-of-the-art laboratory began the process of obtaining DEA certification in 2019. However, as of this hearing we still await their approval,” Greenberg said.
    All panel experts expressed the need for clarification from the FDA concerning the regulation and use of CBD.
    Also on this week’s show, we check in with Lancaster County hemp farmer and cover crop coach Steve Groff, who this week used a sickle bar mower to cut 5 acres of hemp on his farm in Holtwood, Pennsylvania.
    Groff’s hemp was direct-seeded in 15-inch rows, roughly 50 pounds per acre, into a cover crop of black oats and hairy vetch on May 18. The crop reached a height of 12 feet in 75 days and had not started to flower before being cut. He will rake the cut hemp into narrow swaths and turn it a few times, allowing the stalks to ret before baling with a New Holland wet baler.
    Lancaster Farming also talks to Morris Beegle, organizer of the fourth annual Southern Hemp Expo, taking place in Nashville Aug. 18-20.
    Learn More:
    Watch the Congressional Hearing
    Watch Steve Groff Cutting Fiber at Cedar Meadow Farm
    Southern Hemp Expo, Nashville, Tennessee, August 18-20, 2022
    Kings Agriseed’s Field Day, August 16-17, 2022
    Penn State’s Twilight Hemp Walk August 16, 2022

    Thanks to our Sponsors
    All Walks Hemp Bedding


    • 51 min
    Hemp Field Days and the Importance of Language

    Hemp Field Days and the Importance of Language

    This week on the podcast, Tim Fritz and Sarah Mitchell from King's Agriseeds talk about the upcoming hemp field day August 16-17 at the research farm in Christiana, Pennsylvania, where they are trialing varieties of fiber and grain hemp, as well as experimenting with different growing techniques such are fore-cropping and nurse-cropping.
    Then we talk to Segue Fischlin, a builder in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, where she is hosting a hempcrete workshop in early September. We talk about the workshop, but the main thrust of the conversation is about the language we use when we talk about hemp, and how certain language might be undermining the industry.
    King's Agriseeds' Field Day, August 16-17, 2022
    Penn State’s Twilight Hemp Walk August 16, 2022
    Segue Fischlin’s Hempcrete Workshop
    News Nuggets
    Congressional Hearing: “An Examination of the USDA Hemp Production Program”
    AAFCO details new webinar on the usage of hemp
    State ag secretary, senator visit hemp house
    Thanks to our sponsor IND HEMP!

    • 55 min
    Chris Boucher's Thirty Year Journey into Hemp

    Chris Boucher's Thirty Year Journey into Hemp

    After thirty plus years in the industry, Chris Boucher knows a thing or two about hemp. These days he’s the CEO of Farmtiva, a California-based hemp company that specializes in consulting, seed sales, and a hemp juice powder called JuiceTiva, but his journey with hemp started long before the Farm Bill created the pathway for the modern hemp industry.
    He started a business in 1990 called the Hempstead Co. that made hemp wallets, hats, bags and such.
    “Back then the only place you could get hemp was either in China, Hungary, Romania or Poland. And so I went over to China in ’92, and we sourced the hemp there,” he said during this week’s episode.
    Boucher wanted to source his hemp in the U.S., and so in 1994 he secured permission from the USDA and became the first person to grow hemp in the U.S. in decades. But before the crop was harvested, local narcotics agents in California destroyed it by plowing it under, and the dream of U.S.-grown hemp had to wait.
    Along the way he also co-founded the Hemp Industries Association, wrote an influential legal opinion about CBD, and imported the first CBD oil into the U.S.
    He traces his career in hemp back to a chance encounter in 1990 when he was asked to sign a petition to legalize hemp by a man who had just published a book that explained the history and potential of hemp. That man was Jack Herer, author of the seminal hemp book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” The two became lifelong friends.
    As the current director of the California Hemp Growers Guild, an advocacy group for hemp farmers, Boucher sees first hand the detrimental effect recent state legislation is having on California's hemp farmers.
    He said it’s a big win for the marijuana industry and a big loss for the hemp industry. Hemp now falls under the jurisdiction of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control instead of the California Department of Agriculture.
    Boucher said that the agency’s fee structure and regulations make it nearly impossible for hemp farmers to compete, and many have stopped growing hemp altogether.
    “We’ve lost 90% of hemp farmers in California. We went from 800 farmers down to 120,” he said.
    He said these new regulations will also make it very expensive for any out-of-state hemp companies wishing to do business in California.
    Also in this episode, host Eric Hurlock reads a summary of the new definition of hemp set forth in the recently introduced Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, Chuck Schumer's bill to federally legalize cannabis.
    All this and more.
    Be sure to check out all of these links.

    Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act Summary
    Thanks to our generous sponsors


    Mpactful Ventures
    Music by Tin Bird Shadow
    For news nuggets links and more information, go to LancasterFarming.com

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Is Big Cannabis Costing the Hemp Industry $20B a year?

    Is Big Cannabis Costing the Hemp Industry $20B a year?

    The theme of this week’s hemp podcast is education.
    First we talk to economist Beau Whitney, who says the deliberate miseducation of lawmakers is causing a big and expensive headache in the fiber and grain sector. He said a concerted effort by Big Cannabis (aka the marijuana industry) is distorting the narrative around industrial hemp, confusing lawmakers, stifling competition, and is costing the fiber and grain sectors nearly $20 billion a year.
    “Well-funded cannabis companies have access to legislators and policymakers, and as a result they have leveraged their connections and influence in order to narrowly define hemp as a drug, rather than looking at it as a commodity crop with industrial applications,” Whitney said.
    Then we talk to Eric Kleffner, a hemp grower and game developer who is working on a “play-to-earn” video game called Hemptopia. Players can earn cryptocurrency.
    Inspired by his own experience as a hemp grower, Kleffner said, “I wanted to create a game to educate people about all the ins and outs and how hard it is to farm hemp, and all the uses of hemp as well.”
    And finally, we check in with Rachel Berry, hemp farmer, founder of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association, and the director of regional leaders for the U.S. Hemp Building Association.
    Berry talks about her farm in Princeton, Illinois, her work with USHBA, and the various opportunities she has to educate the public on the uses of industrial hemp.
    “I have been invited to join the Illinois Department of Agriculture in the Ag Tent at the State Fair this year,” Berry said. “That’s the second and third week of August and I am absolutely thrilled to be involved in that work.”
    Pennsylvania Hemp Summit

    Duped By Big Dope: How Big Cannabis' Attack On Hemp Has Cost The Fiber And Grain Industry $20 Billion A Year
    Whitney Economics

    Hemptopia Play-to-Earn Video Game

    Learn more about Hemptopia Crypto Farming Game

    Illinois Hemp Growers Association

    U.S. Hemp Building Association

    Hemp Education Events with Rachel Berry

    Illinois Cannabis Training Center 7/21:

    IL State Fair IDOA tent 8/ 15 - 21:

    Thank you to our sponsors


    Americhanvre Cast Hemp

    Check out the Hempcrete Workshop in Washington State on the Beautiful Kitsap Peninsula

    New Holland Agriculture

    Lancaster Farming’s YouTube Channel

    Dan Juleff’s Comment about the Music:
    hi mate sorry for the criticism but do you need to have the music on all the time even when you are talking it is so annoying when i just want to hear what you are saying i just want to hear you...you don't need extra..when you start the show cool have your music but when you start talking kill the music your show will be 100% better... please do one show for me without the music thank you
    Support the Tin Bird Shadow

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Bill Althouse, a Voice in the Wilderness?

    Bill Althouse, a Voice in the Wilderness?

    Bill Althouse believes hemp has great potential to change the world, but he cautions against the common rhetoric — that hemp can magically fix all the world’s problems.
    Instead, he said, the industry must focus on legitimization.
    “This means meeting all the rules, regulations, material specifications and testing standards of the non-hemp materials we’re trying to replace with hemp,” he said.
    For hemp to succeed, it must be seen as legitimate in the eyes of the people outside of the hemp space — builders, engineers, textile manufacturers, etc.
    “After legitimization, we must compete, delivering higher performance at a lower price,” he added.
    On the Hemp Podcast this week, Althouse talks about the issues involved with bringing hemp into the mainstream and shares opinions that will make many people in the hemp industry uncomfortable.
    For example, he talks about why the American hempcrete industry can’t definitively say what the R-Value of hemp is, and how making claims about hempcrete's insulating properties violates FTC rules.
    He describes the value chain of hemp as a textile and makes his case for why, in its current state, it will never be able to compete with cotton.
    He calls the hemp industry an “echo chamber,” saying that repeating the same unsubstantiated claims about hemp only damages the future of hemp.
    His experience in engineering, green building and hemp farming gives him credibility, and he uses that perspective to inject a shot of realism into the conversation.
    He’s not all doom and gloom, though. He sees great promise in hemp, especially in emerging “lignin first” technology that he says has the potential to eliminate the need for decortication and degumming, the two steps in the process currently keeping hemp from competing with cotton.
    A voice in the wilderness or a cranky old man with an ax to grind? Decide for yourself.
    Learn More about What Bill is up to:
    Fat Pig Society
    Industry group aims to develop high-CBD varieties that won’t go hot
    Cutting out the middleman to help small organic farmers
    Thanks to our sponsors!
    Americhanvre Cast-Hemp
    Sign up for the Hemp Newsletter

    • 1 hr 38 min
    Global Hemp Association's National Variety Trials

    Global Hemp Association's National Variety Trials

    This week on the hemp podcast we learn about the Global Hemp Association’s variety trials that span eight states in six geographical regions.
    Our first guest is Mandi Kerr, founder and CEO of the Global Hemp Association, which, according to Kerr is “a platform of entrepreneurs, manufacturers, farmers, distributors that have come together to support and build the industrial hemp industry.”
    One way GHA is building the hemp industry is by conducting variety trials.
    In conjunction with Kansas-based Performance Crop Research, GHA is growing 10 varieties of fiber hemp in various geographical regions across the country with the intent of providing its members with solid data about which varieties do best in each region.
    Our second guest is Melissa Nelson-Baldwin — field scientist, hemp farmer and owner of Performance Crop Research — who has assembled a team of crop specialists specifically for these trials.
    “We’re working with research scientists within the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants,” Nelson-Baldwin said. “This is what everyone does full time. And so we chose crop research scientists that either had hemp experience or a lot of experience within the research space.”
    This is the first year for the trials, but they will be conducted over many years to provide as much data as possible for farmers and processors.
    Learn More About the National Variety Trials:
    Global Hemp Association

    Become a Member: https://globalhempassociation.org/become-a-member/
    Friends of Hemp
    Hemp Hallway
    South Bend Industrial Hemp
    News Nuggets
    National Hemp Association Partners with Hemp Feed Coalition
    Hemp, CBD set to get permanent legal status after 11th-hour rescue by NC legislature

    Thanks to our Sponsors:

    West Town Bank

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
67 Ratings

67 Ratings

Total sickness ,

Love the podcast

Thanks so much for the relevant information and congrats on the 100th broadcast. We have a farm in Alabama but your podcast gives us so much education!!! Thanks fir everything you do for us the farmer.

Faeriegal1971 ,

Just what I was looking for!

This is a great podcast. Well produced and very informative. As a future farmer of hemp I’ve been looking for all sorts of information and stumbled upon this awesome podcast. So glad this is out there! Would love to hear more about getting started as a non farmer who has land and the vision.

Epower3 ,

Very informative

This is a very well-produced, information podcast! There are lots of current/future farmers out there scrambling for any sort of information on hemp, and this is a real treasure for us! Thank you!

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