Hemp growers finally have formal guidelines as they prepare for 2020 planting season.
The USDA has announced an interim final rule formalizing its program.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made the announcement.
“As mandated by congress our program requires are hemp growers to be licensed and includes testing protocols that will ensure that hemp grown under this program is hemp and nothing else. The USDA has also worked to provide hemp growers access to loans and risk management programs available for other crops. As an interim final rule, the rule becomes effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. The Agricultural Marketing Service will be providing additional information, resources and educational opportunities on the new program.
The rule includes provisions for the USDA to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of THC; disposing of plants that don’t meet its requirements; and licensing requirements. It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan.
Secretary Perdue said hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection.
And Perdue said they are still hoping for input from hemp growers to make sure the new package of rules is working for everyone. There’s information about how to submit comments along with the details of the rule at, www.farmers.gov/hemp.