The 2018 Farm Bill is on its way to President Trump’s desk after the U.S. House joined the Senate in approving the measure yesterday. The bill includes the legal production of hemp. Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Director of National Affairs Jordan Dux says they welcome the addition in the state.
Dux says, “The Farm Bureau does support the legalization of hemp. We were happy to see that included in the Farm Bill. I think that has been one of the most things certain from the beginning of this conversation of a Farm Bill. Part of this conversation two years ago was whether hemp would be included. When you have the leader of the Senate saying this is what he wants, most often that is what we get. We’ve had this conversation for a long
Industrial hemp is cannabis but contains 0.3% or less of THC, unlike its cousin marijuana.
Dux says there are advocacy groups in the state that have pushed industrial hemp and this clears the way for farmers in Nebraska to plant this as crop. Dix has talked to producers in Nebraska who are interested in growing this as an alternative crop.
Dix says, “I think farmers are always willing to find a new market to try to get in to. With the corn and soybean model right now given the trade uncertainties that exist, this is maybe a new opportunity for producers to plant a new crop.” He says the challenge moving forward is finding a market for the product.
Hemp has multiple uses that range from fabric, paper products, fiberboard, an environmental friendly substitute for plastic. It is a nutritious food product and can be used in products from veggie burgers to ice cream. Hemp oil can be used to produce non-toxic diesel fuel, paint, varnish, ink, lubricating oil and detergent. It can be used to make shoes, cords, pet food, bedding and more.