Delaware Department of Agriculture Launches Hemp Research Program

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The Delaware Department of Agriculture says it is launching a Hemp research pilot program to study the agricultural and economic benefits of producing products like CBD oil.

The program known as the Delaware Hemp Research Pilot Program was created as a  partnership with Delaware State University’s College of Agriculture and Related Sciences.

Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse says “The research component announced today gives producers an opportunity to see if hemp is a worthwhile product for their farming operation,” He continued “The program also allows our research institutions to determine which hemp varieties will perform well for producing fiber and CBD oil in Delaware – two products in high demand that could further diversify Delaware farming operations.”

The program, created under a section of a 2014 Farm Bill in the Delaware Senate, is to explore an alternative to the traditional row crops grown in Delaware. The legislation authorizes growers to work with permitted institutions of higher education to gain knowledge of any aspect of hemp cultivation, harvesting, processing, marketing, or transportation of hemp for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes.

For the 2019 growing season, a grower must be approved and authorized by the Delaware Department of Agriculture, and affiliated with Delaware State University to grow hemp for research as approved by USDA. Production of hemp for research purposes is limited to 10 acres per approved operation. Hemp may not be grown in Delaware for general commercial activity, only as part of a research program; however, growers participating in the program will be allowed to sell their crop if all research requirements are met.

Individuals interested in being part of the Delaware Hemp Research Pilot Program for 2019, can visit https://agriculture.delaware.gov/plant-industries/hemp-program for more detailed information and applications.

The Department says it’s long-term goal is to establish a permanent program for hemp production to provide additional opportunities for growers to diversify, along with developing products that will support other agricultural industries.