Tags Posts tagged with "Ryan Quarles"

Ryan Quarles

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The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has accepted over 200 applications from farmers who have been given the ok to cultivate up to almost 13,000 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes in 2017. Over 525,000 square feet of greenhouse space were approved for indoor growers, as well.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles stated, “By nearly tripling hemp acreage in 2017 and attracting more processors to the state, we are significantly growing opportunities for Kentucky farmers. Our strategy is to use Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture’s research pilot program to encourage the industrial hemp industry to expand and prosper in the state.” He continued, “Although it is not clear when Congress might act to remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances, my strategic objective is to position the Commonwealth’s growers and processors to ultimately prevail as national leaders in industrial hemp production.”

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture received just over 250 applications. Applicants were asked to identify which harvestable component of the plant would be the focus of their research: grain, floral material, or fiber. Some applicants selected more than one. Five universities will conduct additional research in 2017. The department officials named the recent decline in commodity prices as a factor that appears to be generating increased interest among growers in industrial hemp. In 2016, just under 140 growers were accepted to plant up to 4,500 acres. Program participants planted more than 2,300 acres of hemp in 2016, up from 922 acres in 2015 and 33 acres in 2014.

To enhance the department’s association with local and state law enforcement officers, KDA will add GPS coordinates of approved industrial hemp planting sites to law enforcement agencies before any hemp is planted. GPS coordinates were required to be submitted on the application. Applicants also must pass background checks and consent to allow program staff and law enforcement officers to inspect any location where hemp or hemp products are being handled, processed, or grown.

Quarles stated, “We have made collaboration and communication with the law enforcement community a top priority for KDA’s management of this research pilot program.” Staff with the KDA’s industrial hemp research pilot program assessed the applications and considered whether returning applicants had complied with instructions from KDA, local law enforcement, and Kentucky State Police. To advertise clarity and ensure a fair playing field while evaluating applications, The Kentucky Department of Agriculture relied on objective criteria outlined in the 2017 Policy Guide.

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Hemp production in the United States is finally becoming relevant again. After the 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to grow hemp legally for research purposes, Kentucky implemented a pilot program. Ryan Quarles, Kentucky’s agricultural commissioner told Kentucky Public Radio. “In the first year, about 30 acres were planted. In the second year, about 900. This year, over 2,000. And we fully expect there to be substantial growth in 2017,”.

Kentucky state Department of Agriculture will be accepting applications for the Pilot Program until November 14th, and they must be submitted with a $350 application fee, per grower address. Other fees involved in participating in the pilot program include those for producers and private labs, which can range from $400 to $1,000 depending on the size of the facility, along with a $50 nonrefundable application fee.

Kentucky and Colorado are leading the nation in innovation and production of industrial hemp, a product that has been imported for the last 80years. Having to first learn old techniques due to lack of innovation and advanced production materials, the farmers are getting better at producing hemp and learning the best times to plant the crop. With all the different uses for hemp – hundreds, if not thousands – hemp farmers are expected to make a solid return. Kentucky and Colorado are expected to see great growth from the innovation and production of industrial hemp.

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Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner is urging the federal government to reconsider its latest set of regulations and guidelines regarding industrial hemp. This past month, Ryan Quarles stated he would be examining the U.S, Department of Agriculture’s ‘Statement of Principles’ to better understand how it relates to Kentucky’s own pilot hemp research program.

A stipulation in the 2014 Farm Bill authorized states to produce hemp for research purposes even though they did not remove the marijuana-related plant from the controlled substances list, which gives federal agencies authority over restrictions. In a letter that was recently sent to the USDA, by Ryan Quarles said he now has several problems in that several aspects of the principles contradict Congress’ original intent and “could hinder industrial hemp’s economic potential” in Kentucky.

Quarles states the new rules name the only economically beneficial parts of the hemp plant as the “fiber and seed” to only be utilized for industrial purposes. Quarles says that more than half of Kentucky’s hemp acreage harvests cannabidiol – a hemp oil that does not come from either the fiber nor seed, and that the ‘industrial application’ provision would also mean hemp could not be used in a drug, as a food ingredient or for artistic purposes.

He says another apparent broadening of a definition for measuring ‘delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol’ – better known THC – could cause confusion amongst farmers and processors about the plant’s intended uses and permitted THC levels. The USDA’s statement omits the portion ‘delta-9′ from the tetrahydrocannabinol definition, which Quarles says could potentially “render most, if not all, variants of industrial hemp ineligible for study in research pilot programs.”

He also takes issue with the USDA’s declaration that hemp seeds and plants may not be moved across state lines, however Congress forbids federal funds being utilized on such enforcement in the 2014 Farm Bill.

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Kentucky’s first hemp crop being experimented on, as allowed by new federal law, is going on throughout the state. Greg Hall, The Courier-Journal Kentucky is speeding up hemp production in the third year of testing its possibility of being a cash crop. The state Department of Agriculture stated on Friday that it has allowed the planting of over 4,500 acres of hemp for 2016 which is 900 acres more than what was allowed in 2015. Moreover, the testing started with just 33 acres in 2014, but the momentum built up after a change in leadership at the Agriculture Department.

The resurrection of legal hemp development was credited to by then-state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. Comer kept running for representative a year ago, losing in the Republican essential to Matt Bevin. In any case, his successor as Agriculture Commissioner, Ryan Quarles, has accepted the part of supporting for hemp.

“Hemp is a bridge from Kentucky’s past to our future,” Quarles, a Republican, stated. “The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and our partners are committed to building upon the solid foundation of research for a Kentucky hemp industry that will create jobs and new marketing opportunities.”

Kentucky has been at the cutting edge in endeavors to return hemp to standard status. The minor testing crop yielded in 2014 was the first lawful hemp crop in years in Kentucky. Growing hemp without a government grant was banned in 1970 because of its grouping as a controlled substance identified with cannabis.

Hemp and weed are the same species, Cannabis sativa, yet hemp has a minuscule measure of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gives weed users a high. Hemp got a restricted respite with the government ranch charge, which permits state agriculture departments to assign hemp projects for innovative work in states, for example, Kentucky that permits hemp developing.

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