This article first appeared on deltafarmpress.com (David Bennett | Mar 28, 2018).
Industrial hemp production is coming to Arkansas. So, might it fit into a row crop farmer’s plans?
Brian Madar, with Tree of Life Seeds (https://www.treeoflifeseeds.com/) has some answers. He spoke with Delta Farm Press in March. Among his comments:
“I’m 50 years old and I’ve been farming since I was a kid. I grew up on the farm working with my dad and brother. I farmed with them and rented my own ground until around 2005.
“We farm in Lonoke in (Arkansas’) Prairie County and also in Lonoke County.
“At that time, I got into the oil and gas industry building water transfer companies. We were basically just sending water to a drilling rig versus a rice field. I was in that industry for about 10 years but was going back down and helping my dad and brother on the farm every chance I could. That’s still the case today — if I’m free, I’ll do whatever they need help with.
On questions from farmers regarding hemp…
“Well, the first question is ‘when are we going to be able to grow this plant?’ Our generation of farmers, pretty much as a whole, is excited about a new crop, a new style of revenue stream.
“There are also frequent questions about labor and innovations moving forward with this crop. There are questions on input costs, fertilization, harvesting methods, insect concerns — the same kinds of questions when they’re growing a typical row crop. They want to know about storage and processing of the crop.
“Arkansas is probably the most innovative state I’ve been in when it comes to putting together new resources in the ag industry. I was talking to a group of farmers the other night and they’re talking about everything from new designs on floats to levee squeezers. Arkansas always seems to be out front. We have a bunch of innovative farmers…
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