Davis: Industrial hemp grower seminar coming Jan. 31

Industrial hemp production is on the rise in Kentucky and Clark County. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s research pilot program has tripled in acreage for the upcoming growing season. Producers have indicated they intend to plant 12,800 acres of industrial hemp in Kentucky for 2017.

New and experienced industrial hemp producers and interested individuals can get a broad overview of hemp production and the  industry at an industrial hemp seminar at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the Clark County Extension Office, 1400 Fortune Drive; other seminars will be Jan. 30 in Christian County and Feb. 9 in Shelby County. The seminar is a collaboration between the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association, Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The seminar will give producers and processors good information about the hemp industry in Kentucky, and will get them ready to grow and process hemp this year. Planned topics include hemp marketing, hemp agronomics, the KDA’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and KDA policies. Presenters will include UK Extension Specialist Tom Keene,  KDA Industrial Hemp Pilot Program manager Doris Hamilton and representatives from Kentucky’s hemp industries. It will be a great program for anyone interested in industrial hemp production.

Clark County farmers, don’t forget that the annual Clark County Extension Winter School is under way. Thursday will be Beef Night, and Jan. 31 will be focused on small and backyard farming. Each session will begin at 6 p.m. There is a $10 cost to attend any or all Winter School sessions. Please RSVP to help us better prepare for meals.

I would also like to thank each of our community partners that have helped to make the 2017 Winter School possible. Our partners include Barnes Family Greenhouse, Bluegrass Stockyards East, Clark County Cattlemen Association, Clark County Farm Bureau, Community Trust Bank, Graham Boots, Work & Western Wear, Kentucky Fertilizer, Paris Stockyards, Peoples Exchange Bank, Southern States Clark Co-op, Winchester-Clark County Farmers’ Market, Winchester Feed and Winchester Nutrition.

For information about these upcoming events, to register for Winter School or Industrial Hemp Seminar, contact the Clark County Extension Service at 744-4682 or email me at david.davis@uky.edu.

David Davis is the Clark County Cooperative Extension Service Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources.