WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The agronomic and economic potential of industrial hemp, and the legal issues surrounding its production, will be the focus of a Purdue Extension field day on Aug. 25.
Hemp, one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops,was an important source of oilseed and fiber in the U.S until it was shut down by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
The 2014 Farm Bill legalized growing industrial hemp for research purposes, but the nearly 80-year freeze in hemp production has left information gaps on how to best produce the crop.
Purdue researchers have planted test plots of industrial hemp to help producers learn to grow the crop. Information on yields, optimal soil conditions, nutrients to apply and pests and diseases are important to growing the crop.
“This field day will allow the public to see hemp production firsthand, in one of the worst growing seasons in Indiana history,” said Janna Beckerman, professor of botany and plant pathology. “We’ve used our present experience growing hemp and years of additional experience with other cropping systems to inform our production practices. What we have learned sometimes conflicts with the conventional wisdom found on the Internet, but we invite people to come see for themselves.”
The field day is at Meigs Farm, 9101 S. 100 E., part of Throckmorton Purdue Agricultural Center, about 10 miles south of Lafayette. Two identical half-day sessions will be offered from 8:15-11:30 a.m. and again from 1-4 p.m.
Space is limited and advanced registration is required by Aug. 19. Costs $20. To register, contact Lisa Green of the Purdue Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center at (765) 494-4783 or [email protected].