Agriculture
4:49 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

WKU Becomes Home to Hemp Pilot Project

The 2014 Farm Bill allows state agriculture departments and universities to grow industrial hemp for research.  The projects were delayed when the federal government detained a shipment of imported seeds.  After taking the matter to court, federal drug officials eventually issued a permit for the seeds.
The 2014 Farm Bill allows state agriculture departments and universities to grow industrial hemp for research. The projects were delayed when the federal government detained a shipment of imported seeds. After taking the matter to court, federal drug officials eventually issued a permit for the seeds.

Hemp seeds are in the ground in south central Kentucky.

Twelve varieties of the seeds were planted this week in a small, experimental plot at the WKU farm. 

The research at WKU will be similar to projects at the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University, but WKU Agriculture Professor Todd Willian says the results may not be entirely the same.

"Soils can vary even in short distances.  Of course the climate is relatively the same, but a little bit different when you go further north, so it will be interesting to see," stated Willian.  "We really don't know exactly how it will grow.  We know it grew well in the past in Kentucky, but that was many, many decades ago."

The Bowling Green hemp is being grown with a focus on fiber and hemp seeds. 

The crop has a growing season similar to corn and should be ready for harvest this fall.