Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Hemp Growing In Florida - On Verge For Introduction

Here is some information from Dr. Zack Brym, PhD, Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor Department of Agronomy, Tropical Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

Hemp is on the verge of being introduced as an agricultural commodity in Florida and UF/IFAS has an important role to play in that process. We know very little about how hemp will grow on our agricultural lands and in our natural areas and perhaps less about the economic and environmental impact it will have on our state. We do know about the enthusiasm of farmers and the concern of natural resource managers for this new and potentially game-changing crop. We stand by the mission of IFAS to support the diversity of land managers and to approach our work on hemp in a transparent and collaborative manner.

What do you need to know about hemp in Florida and the UF/IFAS hemp program?

- The 2014 Farm Bill and a 2017 Florida Statute directed UF/IFAS to establish an industrial
hemp pilot project.

- In 2018, the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project was initiated with UF Board of Trustees
approval and FDACS authorization. It also required funding from an industry sponsor.

- The UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project will complete a variety trial, conduct a cropping
system and economic assessment, and investigate the high risk of invasion.

- Hemp is currently being cultivated at eight permitted UF/IFAS locations. Cultivation
includes greenhouse propagation and outdoor planting in secure facility

- The 2018 Farm Bill and a pending 2019 Florida Statute redefine industrial hemp as an
agricultural commodity and direct FDACS to draft a state hemp plan.

- Hemp planting and cultivation is still illegal outside of the UF/IFAS hemp program until
permits are otherwise available. FDACS is the permitting agency.

Dr Brym provided an update on the UF/IFAS hemp program at the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade recently

This presentation was recorded and can be viewed at the following links

- Video Link - https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/da7bcf86329f4ccf8ab3f820325c4cf31d

- Slides Link - https://programs.ifas.ufl.edu/media/programsifasufledu/hemp/UFIndustrialHempPilotProjectPresentation.pdf

Questions may be directed to Dr. Zack Brym, PhD, Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator at hemp@ifas.ufl.edu

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