Hemp production

People interested in hemp production will meet Thursday, December 19 in De Queen.

Producers interested in growing hemp have been invited to an informational meeting in De Queen on Thursday, December 19.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will host the meeting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Adams Building at UA-Cossatot, 183 College Drive.

Dr. Victor Ford, associate director of agriculture and natural resources for the Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, said there are a number of agriculture industry professionals who have already expressed interest in working with growers and the new crop.

Among them is Richard Tyler, owner of Native Oklahoma Aquaponics Harvest, who said he plans to open a hemp processing facility and is interested in working with farmers in southwest Arkansas.

“Mr. Tyler is looking for farmers to grow small acreages of 5 to 40 acres,” Ford said. “The division is still determining how to best grow these hemp varieties in western Arkansas, so this meeting will provide good information for anyone interested in growing hemp.”

Speakers include John Carlin, director of the Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, who will discuss the 2019 hemp trials and 2020 program plans; Rusty Rumley, senior staff attorney for the National Agricultural Law Center, who will discuss the legalities of growing hemp, and Ford himself.

The Sevier County Farmers Co-Op will provide lunch. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required to ensure enough food is prepared for lunch. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP by calling the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013 by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 17.

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