Illinois hemp farmers concerned USDA testing could slow yield

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois hemp farmers gathered in Springfield to evaluate the first year for the new crop and look ahead at challenges to come.

This was the first year that farmers could legally grow hemp, and the Department of Agriculture called the first season a success.

The USDA has since released new rules regarding testing for the plants, which will be tested for full THC content rather than just Delta-A.

The amount of necessary testing has some concerned.

“Every single farmers field will be tested, and it has to be tested by a DEA lab,” said Justin Ward, of Stoney Branch AG Ventures. “So, we are concerned about that causing some issues with having the manpower to get out to all of these fields at the same time, and take that amount of tests, all at once”

Illinois will keep their own testing rules for next growing season, but will switch to the Federal requirement in October 2021.

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