The hemp debate for farmers in the USA continues as smaller farms are starting to feel the pinch. The legalization of hemp across specific states in the US spelled lucrative business opportunities for agricultural industries. It was the 2018 Farm Bill signed into effect by President Trump that legalized the growth of hemp across the United States. The news would see the rapid expansion of the already 25 0000 products being produced. From textiles and beauty products to furniture, the growing consumer demand led more farmers to invest in larger hemp fields and growth yields.
Although the 2018 Bill has created success for some, it has also stifled the opportunity for hemp growth in smaller farming communities. With many new farmers attempting to grow and develop hemp crops to enter into the success of the market, the realization of exorbitant production costs, expensive research, and poor genetic selections have contributed to lower profits and removal from the market.
The small farms attempting their hand at hemp production have further been stifled by the exorbitant rates for licensing and the restrictions on minimum plant numbers that have characterized 2019 and will continue to affect small-scale hemp agriculture in 2020.
License fees in Ohio have reached $500, while Washington State has reached $750 and is expected to climb. Northern Dakota saw licensing at an all-time high at the start of 2019 but was recently decreased to $350.
According to state regulations, the minimum numbers of crops and the growing license fees for producing hemp aim to regulate the professionalism of the industry. Many successful hemp farmers have come forward against the ever-increasing licensing costs as such exorbitant fees are not needed for the regulation of the market.
Reduced commodity prices
The increase in the hemp market has also led to reduced commodity prices. Combined with the higher tariffs and more of the smaller hemp farmers are facing an uphill battle. While all wish to achieve success from the popular hemp industry, it appears that 2020 is the year when the larger and the more established agricultural hemp sectors will continue to thrive. Unfortunately, the past year which has seen unstable weather conditions and compromised genetic selections, which have made it increasingly difficult for small farmers to achieve successful crop production. More of these struggling farmers are finding it challenging to cover land costs, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel as more successful hemp farmers and enthusiasts continue to work to introduce new ways of making successful hemp production a reality for all. From finding and retaining attorneys to overseeing buying contracts to connecting to larger hemp farms and growers for successful genetic testing, many solutions have been proposed to address the deficit.
As hemp remains one of the most interesting and in-demand plants across the globe, it will continue to establish itself as a significant contender in the field of agriculture. Only the next few months will tell where the hemp market will take farmers and consumers alike.