EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan hemp growers, processors and marketers now have one season’s worth of experience—successes and failures—and are poised to begin 2020 with valuable lessons learned. What will 2020 look like for hemp in Michigan? Will earlier planting opportunities result in greater yields, or more weed and pest control challenges? Will seed sources be more reliable and propagation methods more successful? Will CBD biomass markets rebound and the 2019 crop find a home at some level of profit? Will the U.S. Food and Drug Administration make any announcements that will cause CBD demand to change? Will the U.S. Department of Agriculture make significant revisions to its interim regulatory rules for implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill? Will 2020 see another surge in interest among farmers, or will the uncertainties keep some on the sidelines for another year?
The end of the calendar year seems to be a good time for people to reflect on the previous year and chart a path forward in the new year. An upcoming statewide meeting focused on hemp will give all stakeholders in the hemp value chain an opportunity to do just that. The iHemp Michigan organization has planned a two-day conference, the Midwest iHemp Expo, on Jan. 10–11, 2020, at the Lansing Center, 333 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48933. Walk-in registrations will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Friday.
There will be a wide range of speakers at the two-day event including representatives from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Purdue Extension, numerous hemp-related companies, special interest groups and growers. Several Michigan State University Extension specialists and educators will also present on a wide range of topics, including:
- Weed Control Options in Hemp – Erin Burns
- Hemp Greenhouse Growing: What You Need to Know – Heidi Lindberg and Garrett Owen
- Cross Pollination and Possible Solutions – James DeDecker
- Understanding New Regulations Around Hemp Cannabinoids – Eric Anderson
- MSU Variety Trials – Kurt Thelen, James DeDecker and Ryan Farmer
For those wanting to learn more about hemp in Michigan, visit MSU’s Hemp Production webpage. The “Industrial Hemp Production in Michigan” bulletin (E3402) is available to download for free along with archived webinars, a recent FAQ co-written with MDARD, and other timely articles and resources.
Bookmark the Hemp Production webpage and check periodically for updates and additions. For example, for those in the southwest part of the Lower Peninsula, an article was recently published highlighting the Southwest Michigan Horticultural Days being held in Benton Harbor, Michigan, on Feb. 5–6, 2020, which will feature a morning session focused on hemp production.
— Eric Anderson, Michigan State University Extension
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