From the Farm: Hemp Risks in 2019

The Morning Show

With changes in federal and state laws underway, there are some farmers who are planning to grow hemp this year in an effort to diversify their farm and tap a new source of income to supplement low corn and soybean prices. Stu Ellis reports there are some new risks that a farmer would face growing hemp.

Stu Ellis

As you would in any agricultural enterprise there are risks that have to be managed and that is no different with hemp production. Crop insurance is not available yet for hemp—maybe in 2020—but there are liability risks for worker’s compensation, says insurance agent Dara Entwhistle of Lincoln…

Dara Entwhistle

“It’s a liability issue. Basically that’s what it comes down to, and this is a new thing. A lot of them are taking a back seat to this and proceeding with caution.

Stu Ellis

Being in the risk pool, does that raise one’s premiums for worker’s compensation, and by how much?

Dara Entwhistle

Quite a bit. I am not exactly sure on the numbers to give out. Just depends on how high the payroll they have and any claims they have. And they are thrown into the risk pool.

Stu Ellis

Now, if I’ve got a hired man. I’ve got 2500 acres of corn and beans and I am going to grow 50 acres of hemp. Does that kick me out.

Dara Entwhistle

Not necessarily. The laws and regs are still vague on that right now. But right now you’ve got your commercial farms, per se. there’s one at Lincoln. There’s one at Delavan, so mainly hey right now are in the risk pool. But for farmers moving forward they need to have that conversation if they are going to raise and sell hemp, whether it be for the CBD oil or whether it be for fiber or something else for textiles, they really do need to sit down and have that conversation with their agent, yes.

Stu Ellis

That’s our report from the farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.

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