NEWPORT — If you’re thinking about jumping into the fast-growing industrial hemp market, there will be an informative workshop in Newport on April 19.
The workshop will meet in the Emory Hebard State Office Building, at the conference room on the 2nd floor, Room 250, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to everyone, but RSVPs are required.
Attendees will join the Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District, representatives from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the University of Vermont, Northeast Kingdom Hemp, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Vermont Cannabis Solutions, and a farmer panel for a discussion on growing industrial hemp, from field planning to market access.
The workshop will cover soil and water quality considerations, agronomics, nutrient management, market access, state regulations, and growing contracts.
Nick Comerci, a soil conservationist with NRCS in St. Johnsbury, will open the workshop with an overview of how to plan for a new crop with soil and water quality in mind.
Comerci will discuss soil characteristics, the importance of taking soil samples, and how field layout and tillage practices associated with hemp cultivation may impact soil and water quality.
Dr. Heather Darby of UVM Extension will share more specific details about growing industrial hemp, including access to seeds, fertility, irrigation, pest management, and common diseases.
Karen Devereux of NEK Hemp will talk about drying and curing your hemp crop, processing options, testing your product, and entering the retail market.
To round out the formal presentations, Stephanie Smith from VAAFM will be there to review state permitting requirements, and Andrew Subin from Vermont Cannabis Solutions will discuss how to protect yourself as a contracted grower.
There will also be a farmer panel to offer real-world hemp cultivation experience and plenty of time for questions and answers.
The Hemp Industries Association reported that total U.S. retail sales of hemp products reached almost $700 million in 2016.
In Orleans County alone, 51 growers registered 245 acres of industrial hemp with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets in 2018, and more growers are expected to register this year.
If you might be interested in attending, RSVP with Emily Irwin at 334-6090, extension 7008, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Are you on Instagram? Cool. So are we. CLICK HERE to follow us for a behind the scenes look at Newport Dispatch.