Shelby County Farmer Says He'd Consider Growing Hemp, If The Price Is Right

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Shelby County Farmer Says He'd Consider Growing Hemp, If The Price Is Right

Ryan Clark says he would consider growing hemp if the benefits outweigh raising soybeans or corn, and if it wasn't any more labor intensive.

SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. -- As President Trump is set to sign the 2018 Farm Bill into law on Thursday, one component of that bill which removes hemp from a list of banned substances and makes it a regular agricultural crop, could be a benefit to Indiana's agricultural industry says one Shelby County farmer.

Ryan Clark, who farms about 300 acres in southwestern Shelby County, says he would consider growing industrial hemp if it was legal and if it made sense from an economic standpoint.

"[I would] if the benefits outweigh raising soybeans or corn, and if it was enticing enough depending on how labor intensive it was," says Clark, who adds that having another choice for a cash crop is good for his farming business.

"Options are good.  It depends on what incentives are there for the farmer.  We can't set our prices.  All we can do is grow what they want us to grow and tell us the price that they give us," says Clark, referring to the prices set by the trading on the commodity markets.

Although the bill would legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity, it would still need approval by state lawmakers to regulate it and allow it to be grown within the state.  Once those regulations are signed off by state lawmakers and Governor Holcomb, it would still need approval from the U.S.D.A., which means it may not be until 2020 until industrial hemp is grown as a cash crop in Indiana.

Right now, only researchers at institutions like Purdue University are allowed to grow hemp, but they can't do so for a commercial profit. 

 

Photo: Getty Images / Washington Post

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