A Look at Growing Hemp

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The United States Senate reached a milestone when they passed the Farm Bill this week.

One provision in it allows for hemp to be legal to grow now.

Agriculture experts say it's a very versatile crop.

"A lot of feed stuff for humans or animals, lot of industrial products, lotions, cosmetics. I think a couple of things that have been looked at more recently would be bio-fuels and also in the auto industry," said Dr. Todd Willian, Professor of Agronomy.

The auto industry is a point Ag Commissioner James Comer hammered home during one of his last stops in Bowling Green.

"They would rather grow it in Kentucky right next to their factory than import it from Indonesia. It's a better story, they can say farmers helped produce parts for the automotive industry. It's greener, they don't leave as big a carbon footprint," said Comer.

But how do you grow it?

Dr. Todd Willian in the Ag Department at WKU said it would grow in a season similar to corn.

He said hemp could need to be changed to grow better in Kentucky.

"We may need to adapt and develop some newer varieties for Kentucky because they haven't developed any new varieties, specifically for the United States for awhile. I don't think there would be any problem in growing it," said Willian.

He said farming it would be similar to corn also.

"It's mechanized in many countries where it's grown. I think in some countries it's still not, but our nearest neighbor Canada when they've grown it, it's mechanized. So, it would be more similar to corn in that respect than it would be a hand harvested crop like tobacco," said Willian.

It's only a matter of time before Kentucky sees hemp, because Comer said Kentucky will have a hemp crop this year.

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