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Farmers searching to replace their tobacco crops are turning to hemp.

The Los Angeles Times writes that in Kentucky, hemp was grown as far back as the 1700s and now the farmers are returning to their hemp roots since the Farm Bill was signed in December by President Trump. Hemp is now listed as a commodity crop, like soybeans and corn. 

Hemp gained importance in World War II, providing a cheap, stiff fiber that was used for parachutes, uniforms, tarps, and tent cloth. At that time, the American government encouraged farmers to grow hemp. In the 1940s, Kentucky farmers were growing 52,000 acres of hemp, more than any other state. Hemp lost favor with the introduction of synthetic fibers and cheaper cotton after 1945. Growing was stopped entirely with the Controlled Substances Act making hemp illegal in the 70s.

Growing hemp was replaced with tobacco, soy, and cotton. In the 1990s, anti-smoking campaigns had hurt tobacco sales, and in 2004 the federal government ended the Depression-era subsidy program for tobacco farmers with payments ending in 2014. 

With the signing of the farm bill, hemp growers aren't limited to growing hemp for only fiber and industrial purposes, but also for one of the plant's active compounds Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD oil has been used to treat medical issues ranging from epilepsy to insomnia, as well as anxiety and chronic pain. Some predict the CBD market is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2022, a more cautious report expects the number to be closer to $646 million. Either way, it's an up-and-coming product for the hemp grower.

As Kentucky farmers, and anyone growing hemp looks for irrigation solutions, Dosatron continues to provide simple, and reliable, fertilizer injectors that are dependable and easy-to-use. If you are growing hemp, give us a call at 1-800-523-8499 or CHAT at www.dosatronusa.com. We are here to provide the equipment and guidance to help you become a successful hemp grower.