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April 17, 2019     Sidney Herald
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SIDNEY HERALD .__a Agriculture. SUNDAY, MARCH l7, 2019 7A Canadian former gives lowdown on hemp at Wheat Show BY RENEE JEAN narrowrrusromrnrnton One of Jeff Kostuik’s pet peeves is all the hype that hemp has been getting lately. Don’t get him wrong. The Hemp Genetics International director of operations for central Canada and the United States is as excited about all the potential for hemp now that it’s legal in the United States, too, as anyone. “But there are claims that you can throw hemp on the table and it will grow,” he said. “Or that you can throw it in the bathtub and it will save your drowning baby. It’s going to save the family farm!” . But it’s not that easy, Kostuik told a crowd of growers Tues- day night during the 66th an- nual Hard Spring Wheat Show. “If it were that easy I’d be in the Bahamas, instead of Williston talking to you about this.” The truth, Kostuik said, is that hemp gets big, it gets hungry, and it has particular needs — just like any plant. “You have to make sure it’s fertility needs are met,” Kostuik said. “It likes moder- ate clay, loam types of soil. It doesn’t like excess moisture. It doesn’t like wet feet.” Hemp does require between 10 to 13 inches of annual moisture to grow successful- ly. It can be drought tolerant, but not until it’s established. At least four to six weeks old. “Once established it turns more from a baby into a beast,” Kostuik said. “It can take care of itself after that.” Hemp is sensitive to most re- sidual type herbicides, so it’s important to know the crop rotation history of the field There are three types of to include sclerotinia and SUBMIUED PHOTO Jeff Kostuik, left, with his wife Amy, in a hemp field in Canada. Kostuik talked about the agronomy of hemp for growers at the annual Wheat Show in Williston. seeds between one-half to stage, when it is growing 3 where you want to grow hemp. And contrary to hype that’s often printed on the Internet and other places, hemp is not a weed destroyer. “Hemp is an excellent crop for suppressing weeds,” Kos- tuik said. “It has tremendous growth, particularly in July and August, when it is elongat— ing, butif it’s, behind the eight; ball at the start, it will fail. So make sure your field selection isn’t the dirtiest field with no fertflity Make sure you give it a chance to succeed.” To plant hemp, Kostuik has been using an air seeder with a sorghum plate. He turns the speed down to avoid crushing the tiny seeds, and sets the three-quarter inches deep in the soil. “Don’t go deeper looking for moisture,” Kostuik said. “It has a high mortality rate if you go too deep. Keep it shallow. And if moisture isn’t there, I would still suggest seeding shallow and praying for rain.” soil contact, but should not be packed down too much, he added. The grain rate for hemp in the United States is between 25 to 30 pounds per acre. For fiber, he recommends a higher rate. . ' “For fiber, people want a pinky stalk,” he said. hemp, depending on what the grower would like to harvest. There’s a taller plant type for fiber, a shorter plant type for seeds, and there’s a middle size for harvesting both. Harvest management has been ranked as the No. 1 concern of growers, with weeds and disease management not far behind. Reg- . Seeds need tomake good... v... Mutations were also highlighted, as wellas-managingdrydown He recommends harvesting hemp when it’s between 10 to 20 percent moisture. That way there is still some lignin holding stalk fibers together so that they don’t get wrapped around the combine and cause a fire. . Diseases hemp is susceptible botrytis. He hasn’t personally had many issues with either. Insects that can eat hemp include European corn borer, army worms and grasshop- pers, but these don’t usually do enough damage to be of economic concern. Cutworms, on the other hand, can cause damage of ‘ ' economic concern, and it is important to scout for them. Hemp has fairly robust recovery from things like hail and wind. It won’t return to 100 percent, but can recover between 55 to 60 percent of yield potential even in a field that looks decimated. Hemp is more susceptible to wind during the elongation inches a day. Growing hemp is one thing, Kostuik said, but growing the hemp market is yet another beast. Recent interest in hemp hearts for health food in South Korea awoke a “sleeping gi- ant” next door -— China. ‘ Kostuik hassinoe- beensee: r ing so-called organic hemp from China in lots‘df‘places‘, including Canada. “They are landing it here , cheaper than we can do it for the cost of production,” he said. “ So this is where we need to concentrate on producing high-quality hemp products and knowing where your hemp is coming from; ' machine to place the hemp Moniono forms Hemp Advisory Committee for check-off progrom Crucial step to formulate game plan for hemp IY unit: mu RJEAN@WIlllSiONHERAlD.(0M A Nine individuals have been appointed to Mon- tana’s brand new Hemp Advisory Committee, formed after significant interest from producers and stakeholders throughout the state. The committee will oversee a checkoff pro- gram for hemp, to further market research and development. The nine individuals will serve a one-year ap- pointment and include: Jeremy Anderson — Fort Benton Jackee Beck ~ Deer Lodge Ken Elliott Wolf Point Jamie Fitterer — Bozeman Arlin Fratzke — Stevensville Bart Icopini — Hysham Ross Johnson — Conrad Dean Nelson — Homestead ' Kim Phillips — Helena “We are grateful that so many folks were interested in serving on the Hemp Advisory Committee, and the selection process wasn’t easy,” said Montana Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas. “The appointees represent ’ HOME DECOlR-FARM ouse KITCHEN‘SESON LlDEC 323 2nd Ave SE Sidnev ' (406) 433-6219 Business Show May 4th 9am-5pm , Vendors Wanted - Richland County Event Center "-2118~-W**Holly'StrSidney MT- ommiu'mb mldmmmwanna-0......mm...i.....,...,..,.. .. .. .. . . Chris Entzol Owner Hours: Tues-Sat 11-6 Sun-Mon Closed (406) 480-3319 “ Alhnndmade Boutique 254, S Central, Sidney 1409-“ Montana hemp growers both large and small, and also reflect the diverse growing regions of Montana’s ag industry. I look forward to working with the committee to shape the future of Mon- tana’s hemp industry.” The first meeting of the hemp advisory com- mittee will be from 10 am. to 3 pm. in Room 225 of the Montana Department of Agriculture, 302 N. Roberts, Helena. Items on the agenda include an overview of Montana’s State Hemp Plan, com- modity dealer licensing, and a discussion of how hemp laws are being implemented in Montana. The meeting is open to the public. Montana has had a hemp pilot program for the past two years, beginning in 2017 with 550 acres. That jumped to 22,000 acres in 2018, making Mon- tana the No. 1 hemp-growing state in the nation by acres. Neighboring North Dakota, meanwhile, be- gan its hemp program in 2016 with 70 acres of industrial hemp. That jumped to 3,064 acres in 17 counties in 2017, then dipped to 2,800 acres in 19 counties in 2018. As pilot states, Montana and North Dakota already have hemp plans filed with the USDA. They have also both filed updates to sync their laws with the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp, to the extent possible, given that federal flmf (flooring of Wort/i @akota 501 Main Street 0 701 -774-3950 Specializing in Custom Showers, Backsplash 8: All Types of Flooring! Servicing the MonDak Area! 701—7.7.4-3950 501 Main Street, Williston, ND creationcarpetsnd©hotmaiLcom § Protecting You & Your Loved Ones llchele Harm, Agent 16 S Central Avenue Suite B rdney, MT 59270 us-L 4064882400 richele@herresinsurance.com Please stop by and say, “Hi!” I’m looking forward to sewing your needs for insurance and financial services. Like a good neighbor, I State Farm is there." CALL ME TODAY. regulations have not yet been written. Some rules from the 2014 Farm Bill have thus been retained for 2019 in both states. Montana has put its rules online for public comments at https:/ / wosmt.gov/ arm. Among highlights of the new rules: - Application fees are rising. There will be a $400 per acre fee, plus $5 per acre outdoors or 35 cents per 1,000 square feet indoors for a $10,000 maximum. - Criminal background checks are still re- quired, as are fingerprints, for now. The Mon- tana legislature has a bill, which seems likely to pass, eliminating the latter, but background checks would still be required. . Industrial hemp may not be grown in the same location, unless separated by a building. Sampling for THC is still going to be required. Montana has approved four approved labs for that purpose. Grower applications for Montana’s 2019 hemp program are online at agrmtgov. The license will roll out in two stages. A conditional license will be issued upon receipt of a completed ap- plication and appropriate fees, fingerprints and background checks. The final license will be issued once the grower selects the seeds he will be growing. ., . Cam pigtaiismaitfie 309 2nd St NW, Sidney. MT 59270 Phone: (405) 488-4366 Fax: (406) 630-4433