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600 industrial hemp sites expected: State chemist shares 2020 outlook

A research field of industrial hemp is grown at a Purdue University farm.
A research field of industrial hemp is grown at a Purdue University farm.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Indiana is expecting more than 600 industrial hemp sites to be planted this year.

Robert Waltz, Indiana state chemist, shared a hemp update during a webinar.

“This year is research-only (hemp farming) again, but it’s blended because we do have a state plan in process and emergency rules in place,” Waltz said.

There is a limit of 300 licenses to be issued to hemp farmers this year, but it is doubtful that number will be reached.

There still will be plenty of room for people to apply to be a grower, Waltz said. Farmers should do their homework before starting the process.

There are 445 outdoor grow sites, more than 8,500 acres, planned. More than 170 indoor grow sites are in the works, for a total of 1.72 million square feet.

“Compared to last year, we had 353,000 square feet,” Waltz said. “It looks like the real growth this year is going to be indoor rather than outdoor, probably because of the weather we had last year.”

Last year’s numbers included 5,300 acres planned, 4,200 acres planted and 3,300 acres harvested.

The discrepancy between planted versus harvested acres was due to three main causes: destruction due to high THC, bad stand or weed pressure. Weather issues were a challenge for many growers in 2019.

Learn more at www.oisc.purdue.edu/hemp or www.purduehemp.org.

2020 By The Numbers

• 247 total hemp licenses

• 28 handler only licenses

• 82 grower only licenses

• 137 grower/handler licenses

• 623 total grow sites

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