SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Three Rivers College held a news conference on Wednesday, Aug. 14 to discuss growing industrial hemp as an educational initiative to help farmers.
The conference began at 11 a.m. at the Three Rivers Sikeston location.
According to the college, the need for this education came as a result of Missouri Senate Bill 133 being signed into law on June 24 by Governor Mike Parson.
According to the wording of the bill, the new law allows Missouri institutions of higher education and their research centers to “...engage in the research and study of industrial hemp as authorized under the federal Agricultural Act of 2014 or any successor law without being required to obtain a registration.”
“Area farmers came to us asking if we could plant a few varieties of industrial hemp so they could see what its needs are before they’re allowed to start growing it themselves next year,” said Dr. Melissa Davis, department chair – Communications, Agriculture, Languages, and Fine Arts. “This crop has the opportunity to be an economic boom for our area, so we were happy to help them learn more about it.”
Three Rivers is studying two varieties of industrial hemp and using different methods of planting, growing and harvesting to see which methods work best. The crop will be harvested later this year.
Industrial hemp is a producer of CBD oil, and naturally produces slight amounts of THC.
Laws allow the plants to produce no more than 0.3 percent THC concentration, or the crops could be destroyed.