Cpital Press reports…..Roughly 6,300 acres of hemp were registered for planting during the first quarter of 2020, down more than 75% from the 25,400 acres registered during the same period in 2019, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

 

Oregon’s hemp growers are apparently retrenching in 2020 after the crop’s explosive expansion last year left many bitterly disappointed with their financial results.

Roughly 6,300 acres of hemp were registered for planting during the first quarter of 2020, down more than 75% from the 25,400 acres registered during the same period in 2019, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Though it’s still early in the season — last year, farmers ultimately registered to grow nearly 64,000 acres of hemp — experts say a problematic harvest, glutted market and regulatory morass is forcing growers to drastically scale back their ambitions.

Rick Bush, a hemp farmer and processor in Salem, Ore., said he personally uses the cannabidiol, or CBD, extracted from hemp for health reasons and considers it a “wonderful product.”

However, the “brutal” economic situation of plummeting CBD prices and insufficient demand has devastated growers who’d invested heavily in growing the crop last year, he said.

“Hemp is an empty promise,” Bush said.

Many farmers who planted hemp in 2019 were later confronted with inadequate or insufficient harvest machinery, a lack of storage and processing capacity as well as weather problems that degraded the crop’s quality.

“You had just one setback after another,” said Beau Whitney, founder of Whitney Economics, a consulting firm that tracks the hemp industry.

Processors now have more than enough hemp biomass remaining for extraction, as well as a surfeit of finished CBD products they’ve yet to sell, which is depressing prices for the crop, Whitney said.

Full Article https://www.capitalpress.com/state/oregon/oregon-hemp-farmers-retrench-in-2020/article_e152cca8-784c-11ea-8104-97aae718a5c3.html