The University of Florida (UF) Hemp Pilot Project strives to keep growers informed on everything hemp. In an effort to do just that, Zachary Brym, agronomist at the UF Tropical Research and Education Center and Hemp Pilot Project coordinator, has put together a traveling hemp workshop. The first workshop was held on July 30 in Gainesville, Florida.
The workshop was filled with research updates for potential hemp growers. The first half of the day featured information on the pilot project, the crop, invasion risks, pest and disease possibilities and more. The afternoon included a field tour of the hemp plots in Hague. Researchers spoke to a packed room of growers in Gainesville, as many people are curious and eager to get into this potential crop.
Brym says he’s excited to see the industry response to hemp, as well as continue to study the crop for the remainder of 2019 with the pilot project. He says the project will not only continue its current work, but will also be looking into propagation and greenhouse production soon.
Aside from production practices, many growers have been trying to keep up with the legalities of the crop. During the hemp workshop, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried was holding a meeting on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement where AgNet Media Founder and President Gary Cooper got an update from Fried regarding the legal status of hemp.
Currently, states across the country are waiting for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin accepting state plans for their respective hemp programs. This waiting period, however, provided a great opportunity for Fried to hear from the industry and find out what it wants to see in Florida’s hemp rules. She held listening session events around the state to receive industry input.
“We received around 300 different comments,” Fried said. “So, we are going through every single one and we’re trying to incorporate each one in there (the rules), because this really is going to be a partnership.”
Listen to Fried’s full interview with Cooper:
The hemp workshop will travel to Homestead on Aug. 2, then to Apopka, and then to Quincy. Each workshop will include a field tour. For more information on the future workshops, click here.
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