When the state of Illinois earlier this week opened up applications for farmers to grow hemp, 295 applied for a license to grow a total of nearly 71 hundred acres. But so far the state has only issued 97 licenses. Stu Ellis has our update on the choices farmers have to make
Steve Pilarski of Revolution Cannabis at Delavan says his company may be one of the markets that farmers will have that will be turned into CBD oil
There are 2 kinds of hemp being produced today. One is the flower variety, which is grown like a vegetable. Strawberries might be the best example. It is grown on 5 foot centers. The other is the seed or fiber variety which is grown like a row crop and it can be automated. The flower, vegetable type of hemp is very very labor intensive and thus the high price. So while you may earn a few thousand dollars or more per acre, you’ve got to increase your labor costs tremendously. I have heard of farmers that have had two acres of hemp and it took 10 people 6 days to harvest that product.
But Pilarski says there could be a lot of volatility in prices
The issue is that CBD prices have been falling dramatically over the last year with the advent of increased production across the nation. So we are concerned that CBD prices may be substantially lower next fall than they were this fall. On the other hand, if a big producer of beverages like a coca cola or a Budweiser comes out with a CBD drink, prices will go through the roof because there is not enough CBD being produced.
That’s our report from the farm. I’m stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.