Updated: Jan 16, 2019
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) in collaboration with faculty and students with the University of Kentucky Department of Agricultural Economics have released the 2016 Grower Production Reports with Kentucky Hemp Pilot Program participants.
According to the information provided in the report, a total of 2,387 acres of hemp were planted of the 4,600 approved from the 2016 applications. There were 108 participating growers, and 267 individual reported plots/research fields. All plots varied in size, but the average amount planted was approximately 9 acres.
The report shared planting methods for fiber, grain and CBD crops including seeding and transplanting rates, planting depth, equipment, and top varieties. It also mentioned fertilizer, from amounts of nitrogen to organic supplements, in addition to various issues growers faced like weed control, disease, pests, and labor/equipment inefficiencies.
Harvests showed that a little more than half of the planted grain crops were harvested (499 of 812 acres planted). However, there was an increase in the amount harvested for fiber (107 of 102 acres planted), most likely due to a crop planted for grain or CBD being harvested for the fiber instead. Of the CBD crops planted, 70% of outdoor crops were harvested (993 of 1,314 acres planted), while only 59% of indoor (greenhouse) space (69,651 sq/ft of 116,313 sq/ft planted).
Of the acres harvested, the average yields per were 513 lbs. of grain per acre, 1,520 lbs. of fiber per acre, 392 lbs. of outdoor grown CBD (floral material) per acre, and approximately 3,995 lbs. of indoor (greenhouse) CBD (floral material) per acre.
Following basic production results, the report breaks down cost of production and financial inputs. According to the results, the average cost per acre is $515 for grain, $722 for fiber, and $1,950 for CBD production (but estimating the cost is closer to $5,000).
The final section of the report discusses marketing and the utilization of the hemp crops after harvest. Only 14 out of 107 producers indicated that the hemp material was sold (14%), another 14 claimed some were sold (%14). Approximately 50% of respondents indicated that they intended to the sell the material, but hadn't yet. The report notes that this could be because of the timing of the survey deadline (December 1.) Also, growers reported that 630 jobs of some type were created by participants, including 27 managerial positions (seasonal or part-time), and 537 general labor positions (13 full-time, others part-time or full time.)
In the correspondence sent to Kentucky Pilot Program participants by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture was also a brief update regarding the 2017 program. Of the 12,800+ acres approved for hemp production in the applications, just over 3,000 of those acres were planted. Participants have reported a total crop failure at 26 different plots/fields, accounting for approximately 270 acres. Almost half of the crop failures were attributed to weed pressure and half reported lack of germination or emergence.
Reported Primary Intentions of the Crop
64% - CBD production
31% - Grain or Seed (Specifically 20% for grain, 11% for seeds intended for planting)
5% - Fiber
We will post the links to both the 2016 and 2017 production report as soon as the Kentucky Department of Agriculture releases them on kyagr.com.