Industrial hemp workshops held in southern Illinois

Industrial hemp workshops held in southern Illinois
Three industrial hemp workshops will be held the first week of February in Jackson, Johnson and White counties. (Source: KFVS)

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - Changes are on the horizon for the hemp industry in the Heartland now that the plant is legal to grow nationwide.

The University of Illinois Extension is hosting three separate industrial hemp workshops this week throughout southern Illinois.

A new federal hemp law will take effect in 2021 and is more strict than state laws on the amount of THC products can have.

Dave Wells owns a hemp shop in Murphysboro and the transition to the new law next year means dropping a few of locally made but he looks forward to the marketplace opening up to interstate commerce.

Illinois farmers who grow hemp or want to start learned more during a workshop at the University of Illinois Extension office in Murphysboro Wednesday Feb. 5.

Phillip Alberti, a commercial agriculture educator, ran the event.

He said the entire hemp plant is already used for it grain, fiber and flower to make things like CBD products, clothes and paper.

Alberti added that the sky is the limit for it’s applications, and the most asked question at the workshop was ‘Can hemp be fed to farm animals?’

“There is a tremendous amount of interest in it because it is used for animal feed in other parts of the world because it’s high in protein, omega 3′s, fatty acids, other nutrients," Alberti said. "And I can see us going that in the future but we are just waiting on some research to jive with the United State and their federal rules for animal feed.”

Some CBD products have already been approved to help pets who may have trouble sleeping or experience seizures.

Alberti added that national banks and crop insurers are all starting to support the hemp industry.

Each workshop will also cover details on licensing, rules and regulations.

Demonstrations of various production systems and planting methods will be covered while addressing issues faced throughout the growing season.

The two other workshops will be held in Johnson and White counties at the following locations and times:

  • Thursday, Feb. 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the White County Extension Office in Carmi.
  • Friday, Feb. 7 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in Simpson.

The cost of each session is $5 per person.

Seating is limited, therefore registration is required.

To register, click here.

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