OLATHE, Kan. (KSNT) – The newest crop in Kansas is bringing mixed results for farmers. 2019 is the first year people in Kansas are allowed to grow hemp.
“Consistently lot of farmers having trouble getting growing to start,” said James DeWitt, co-founder of United American Hemp in Olathe.
Weather conditions and access to hemp seed have been a struggle for some growers.
Right now, the only people that are allowed to grow hemp are those that applied to perform research to the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Research varies from types of seed, soil, to water usage.
DeWitt is researching how hemp reacts to different types of light.
“For us growing indoors made it very easy to fail over and over and over again without spending tens of thousands of dollars or an entire year of harvest cycle on something that didn’t produce,” he said.
He has learned the best ways to grow plants this year and plans to grow his business in the future by selling seeds and working as a consultant for farmers.
“Getting them the seeds and the clones to plant, getting them best practices to actually grow those plants, and then providing them with a contract to actually sell the product,” said DeWitt.
Officials at the Department of Agriculture are hearing from farmers that are growing hemp.
“It’s a new crop, so it’s a learning experience for everyone,” said Heather Lansdowne, director of communications for the Kansas Department of Agriculture.