INDIANAPOLIS — Progress is being made to give farmers
the option to grow industrial hemp in Indiana.
The newly formed Purdue Industrial Hemp Research Group
met recently to discuss what needs to happen next.
“The group has decided to start taking the necessary
steps to grow hemp for research purposes in spring of 2015,” said Tayler Glover,
vice president of the association.
Although Gov. Mike Pence legalized its growth in Indiana
this year, farmers can’t yet grow the hemp due to federal laws.
State Chemist and Seed Commissioner Robert Waltz sent a
letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration asking for permission to grow hemp
for research at Purdue University.
“We’re optimistic that we’re going to get permission to
do pilot projects, limited to university research, this spring,” Glover said.
Researchers at Purdue will study hemp varieties, soil
fertility, crop nutrition, potential diseases and harvesting techniques.
“In addition, we discussed that we need to conduct some
economic studies, as well,” Glover said. “That has to deal with supply chain
management. We are mostly concerned with getting our ducks in a row before
spring. We want Indiana farmers or potential industry leaders have the best
information possible when it’s time to grow.”
In the meantime, farmers have had many questions about
“Indiana Hemp Industries Association has been fielding
telephone calls from interested farmers, as well as visiting with interested
farmers,” said Jamie Campbell, president. “We are also in contact with various
hemp-related businesses in Indiana, and they are becoming more focused and
motivated about hemp being grown right here.”
It’s important for Indiana to be at the forefront of
industry innovation, Glover said.
Neighboring states, including Illinois and Kentucky,
already have taken measures to plant hemp. By staying at the head of the pack,
Indiana could attract hemp processors, manufacturers and entrepreneurs to the
“We want to help Hoosiers be innovative, successful and
lead the way in any way that we can.,” Glover said. “That pertains to farmers,
entrepreneurs, business owners and people who believe it can benefit the state.
“We are planning to continue to advocate for those
people. We’ll be continuing education efforts all winter so we can be ready to
plant in the spring.”
Erica Quinlan can be reached at 317-726-5391, ext. 4,
or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at AgNews_Quinlan.