Agriculture

Agriculture
2:00 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Gov. Steve Beshear: Law Enforcement Issues with Hemp Must Be Worked Out

Before he joins the call for legalized industrial hemp, Gov. Steve Beshear wants law enforcement officials to resolve their concerns about the issue.

The issue: Some Kentucky officials believe legalized industrial hemp would be good for Kentucky's economy, but law enforcement officials are concerned that such a move would conflict with efforts to crack down on marijuana growers.

“I think we’re going to have to answer those questions before we can really move forward in the industrial hemp area,” Beshear said.

Kentucky is central in the movement to legalize hemp as an agricultural crop, largely thanks to the advocacy of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

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Agriculture
4:00 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Kentucky Hemp Industry Won't Grow Overnight, Agriculture Economists Say

As Kentucky and federal lawmakers consider legalizing industrial hemp, the chair of the University of Kentucky's agriculture economics department notes that such an industry won't rise overnight.

It's a matter of economic viability. The main question being: With corn, soybeans and other crops selling at record high levels, what would entice farmers to switch to hemp instead?

Leigh Maynard, chair of the University of Kentucky’s ag economics department, said he expects farmers to be hesitant to begin growing industrial hemp. Maynard said  farmers will likely balk at the idea of foregoing record high prices in other markets just to grow hemp.

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Agriculture
3:59 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Kentucky Hemp Commission Will Work on Proposal, Economic Impact Study

The second meeting of the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission will include picking out some details of panel’s efforts. The commission, chaired by Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, will dive Friday morning into specifics of a new legislative proposal.

They include the bill’s language and which legislators will sponsor it during the 2013 session.

Comer says a state university will be selected to conduct a new economic study of legalizing industrial hemp in Kentucky.

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Agriculture
3:11 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Despite Drought, Kentucky Agriculture Revenues Could Set Records

These corn crops in Warren County were damaged during the summer drought.
Credit Kevin Willis

Despite experiencing one of the worse droughts in U.S. history, agriculture economists in Kentucky are projecting record cash receipts for the state’s farmers.

During their annual outlook during the Kentucky Farm Bureau conference, economists from the University of Kentucky say they think Kentucky will break the $5-billion barrier in revenues this year.

Lead economist Will Snell says high prices for many crops -- along will increased exports and insurance payouts  -- helped offset the drought for many agricultural industries in Kentucky.

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Agriculture
8:29 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Kentucky Law Enforcement Chief Uncommitted About Legalizing Hemp

Kentucky is one of several states considering the legalization of industrial hemp.

Kentucky Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Jerry Wagner says his group hasn't decided on supporting or opposing legalizing industrial hemp. Wagner and other members of the KSA board met with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer Thursday in Frankfort for more information on the subject.

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Agriculture
3:23 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Yarmuth Joins Supporters of Legalization of Industrial Hemp

Republican advocates of industrial hemp in Kentucky are getting some across the aisle help. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, supports efforts to legalize the plant in Kentucky, his spokesman said. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer are the two leading advocates for the move.

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Agriculture
10:11 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Massie Signs On as Co-Sponsor of Hemp Legislation

A fresh move is underway in Frankfort and Washington D.C. to legalize industrial hemp.

U.S. Rep.-elect Thomas Massie is co-sponsoring legislation that would require the federal government to honor state laws allowing production of industrial hemp. The proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. A similar bill is being co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul.

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Agriculture
11:33 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Burley Tobacco Growers Enjoying Better Prices

Tobacco in the field

Farmers growing burley tobacco in Kentucky and Tennessee are receiving some of the best crop prices they've seen since 2004. That's the last year the crop was sold under production and price controls established by the federal government.

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Agriculture
12:00 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Comer: Marijuana Votes in Other States Bolster Kentucky Hemp Efforts

Kentucky Agriculture Secretary James Comer said recent measures in Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana use will only strengthen efforts to allow industrial hemp in the commonwealth. Marijuana and hemp are considered cousins. Hemp is grown for its fiber and oil and it can’t be used as a drug like marijuana can.

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Agriculture
4:54 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Comer: Legalizing Hemp Top Legislative Priority for 2013

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he will seek to legalize industrial hemp in 2013, and to kick off the effort he convened a Wednesday meeting of a hemp commission that hasn't met in years. Comer told members of Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission that passing hemp legislation will be his top priority in next year's General Assembly.

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