Hemp

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Murray State University began its 2017 hemp harvest with the roar of a combine on Wednesday afternoon at the West Farm. A study is also underway at the university testing hemp as feed for poultry and its effects on broilers and egg-laying hens.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Hemp farmers and processors in Murray presented progress and problems in growing the crop to U.S. Senator Rand Paul on Thursday. Paul is in the region as part of a tour discussing healthcare options and made a stop in Murray to talk hemp ahead of visits to other communities. Afterwords, he also commented on North Korea and health care reform options.

Evelyn Simak, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hemp is deeply rooted in Kentucky's history. The commonwealth was once the leading producer of hemp in the United States. The industry faded over time and has been stifled by federal classifications and confusion. Now, two Kentucky congressmen, with support from Kentucky's senators, are looking to lift federal restrictions on the crop. But, as hemp is poised for progress, industry uncertainties remain.

Nicole Erwin / WKMS

Lawmakers in Springfield have been considering a bill that would allow Illinois farmers to grow industrial hemp.

Whitney Jones, WKMS

The University of Louisville’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy is planting more hemp this year at the school’s Belknap Campus.

Joseph Kelly, Murray KY

  Applicants for Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program will have the chance to appear before an appeals panel under a new process in a bill awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Nicole Erwin, Ohio Valley ReSource

The Senate Agriculture Committee has approved modifications in Kentucky's industrial hemp research program.  Proponents say the measure seeks to better align the state’s effort with federal research exemptions in the farm bill.

Nicole Erwin, Ohio Valley ReSource

Two Republican Kentucky congressmen and two Democrats host a bipartisan industrial hemp expo at the U.S. Capitol tomorrow. First district Representative James Comer and Thomas Massie of the fourth district join Democrats Jared Polis of Colorado and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon. 

comer.house.gov, cropped

While Congressman James Comer has served as Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and spent more than a decade in the Kentucky House of Representatives, he is new to Washington D.C., having won the District 1 seat in western Kentucky last November, formerly held by Rep. Ed Whitfield. Comer stopped by WKMS on his way to a speaking engagement to speak with Matt Markgraf about his thoughts on President Trump, legislative priorities, trade deals and hemp.

Nicole Erwin, WKMS

  Kentucky officials are expecting a significant jump in hemp cultivation during 2017.  By years end, compared to a year ago, hemp acreage could grow three times.

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