Hemp could become the next big cash crop in west Texas
Industrial hemp production is becoming the talk of the town for Ag producers. The federal government legalized it in the 2018 farm bill The state's Ag department is drawing up a plan to match. More than 250 farmers from across our region attended a hemp educational seminar at Cook's Garage on Tuesday. It taught current farming practices, extraction, and what resources exists for this specific crop.
Hemp cultivation is on going in neighboring states like New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado. Hemp experts indicate that the dry heat and heavy winds of west Texas are fitting for this kind of crop.
"We are in a really big boom for hemp production in general be it grain and fiber or high CBD," said Zackary Guignardi, owner of Rubi Hemp Solutions. "The yields per acre as far as profit that you can make are significantly higher by a few factors compared to other traditional crops."
Erik Spain, a cotton farmer from Olton attended the event. He sees hemp as a manageable crop and is doing extensive research before saying yes.
"Instead of growing cotton for this one purpose only for fiber we can transition into this other crop that gives us thousands of end uses for it, so if the fiber market is flooded what other aspect could we be growing it for," said Spain. " This is a huge opportunity for this area whether it is CBD, eventually moving it to textiles and fabric, fiber, and you know the different uses that we can have through this crop with it being a ninety day crop."
Governor Abbott approved the production, manufacturing and selling hemp crops and products back in June, but it's not legal to grow until the USDA approves the state's plan.