Early in life, I was fortunate enough to eat hemp fed beef and that began my lifetime of learning about this extremely useful crop.
What varieties and how many acres of hemp did you grow in 2016?
I cultivated Futura75 on a 1-acre plot in Chapel Hill, Tennessee.
What soil and environmental conditions did you grow in?
We grew in a soil with a high percentage of clay. Lots of early rainfall crusted the soil and caused uneven emergence.
Did you grow in conjunction with an institution of higher learning? Which one?
The 2016 hemp plot was in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, but not with a specific school. In 2015, I planted a varietal trial at the MTSU farm with Johnson grass being the leading crop in those fields.
As this was a pilot crop, what qualities were you testing?
In 2016, we grew Futura75 for its fiber qualities and canopy coverage.
Were you able to utilize your 2016 crop? How?
We were able to utilize our 2016 crop by converting most of the field into a hemp maze. After the hemp maze festivities, we were able to sell the remaining crop to a producer here in Tennessee.
What is unique about your approach to hemp farming, your business model, and/or your research project?
Our 2016 hemp maze was the first hemp maze that has ever been open to the public in the US!
What varieties and how many acres of hemp will you grow in 2017?
In conjunction with MTSU and my PhD research, I will be researching Fedora17, Santhica27, Ferimon, Canda, and Finola. We hope to plant 35 acres the second week of May.
Are the soil and environmental conditions expected to be the same?
No, the research plots will be in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and we will plant the hemp on high bushel per acre corn land that was previously used for growing wheat.
Will you grow in conjunction with an institution of higher learning?
Yes, MTSU is researching all sorts of applications for this amazing crop and MTSU will continue researching hemp for years to come.
What is the planned use for your 2017 crop?
MTSU plans on harvesting the seed and possibly the field fiber.
What has been your biggest success(es) in farming hemp to date?
The hemp maze was a huge success in 2016. We did not make a lot of money, but the educational opportunities are unmatched. If your state department of agriculture will allow for it, each farmer should do a small maze to help educate the community around the farm.