Wisconsin farmers allowed to grow hemp, still face barriers

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This picture taken on July 12, 2016 shows a hemp field. / AFP / ROMAIN LAFABREGUE

MADISON — Industrial hemp is an option for Wisconsin farmers for the first time since lawmakers lifted a ban on the crop this fall.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has until March to create regulations for the hemp industry.

Allison Pratt-Szeliga is researcher from the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. She says the state will likely form an application process and require farmers to obtain seeds through the department.

But industry experts say farmers interested in growing hemp still face barriers to break into the business.

Adam Kuzcer is on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau board of directors. He says farmers won’t be able to rely on selling their crop to the closest grain elevator and will want to have a contract before growing hemp.

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