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Industrial Hemp Research Officially Underway in Missouri
USAgNet - 07/11/2019

The first legal industrial hemp plot was planted in Missouri July 1, officials reported Wednesday. The planting comes after Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe signed Senate Bill 133 into law last week, a move that allows universities in Missouri to plant hemp on a research basis this year.

The Missouri Hemp Association, which is working closely with several universities in Missouri on the hemp research, celebrated this milestone. "Hemp is the biggest opportunity in the last 200 years to make Missouri farmers more profitable," said Dale Ludwig, executive director of the MHA. "The opportunity for universities to put seed in the ground this year will help our growers be more prepared for the 2020 growing season."

Missouri growers owe their gratitude to Rep. Don Rone, chairman of the Missouri House of Representatives Agriculture Policy Committee, and Rep. Rick Francis, who sponsored the hemp bill. Both put in a great deal of effort to get this legislation passed. The Missouri Department of Agriculture should also be commended for the work they are doing to expedite the permitting process for growers.

"We are really excited to bring this new commodity to our state -- one that can make a major financial impact on farms across Missouri," said William J. Cook, chairman of the Board for MHA. "The university research that is taking place now will help our farmers produce a high-quality hemp crop for the domestic and world markets."

Any grower interested in planting hemp in 2020 should attend the Missouri Hemp Conference 2019: Seed to Sale. This event is the first statewide conference on hemp and will feature speakers from all over the U.S., as well as speakers from Canada and Europe. More information on the conference can be found at the MHA's website -- mohempassociation.org.

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