Murray State University hosted a Hemp Education and Field Day Thursday, August 4th, giving area residents insight on the hemp plots being grown at the university.
The event began with a presentation by Stuart Tomc of CV Sciences, a cannabidiol pharmaceutical and consumer product company sponsoring the crop. A panel discussion addressed questions and concerns growing hemp locally.
The university planted the first legal agricultural hemp research plot in May 2014 and continues to be a significant factor in developing the industry in the commonwealth.
Kentucky Ag Director of Plant Marketing Brent Burchett was on the panel. He says research generated from MSU’s crop will be a pivotable part of the hemp industry going forward.
“We’re extra reliant on them to produce a lot of information on pesticide use, on cultivation techniques, on row spacing, on variety selection... The sky is the limit for research in industrial hemp and we’re very happy that Murray State is taking such a leading and active role in industrial hemp,” says Burchett.
Following the panel, participants visited the site where two varieties - Futura 75 and Fedora 17 - are growing.
Dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture Tony Brannon says MSU’s goal is to provide a service to the region.
“Obviously if we can grow a crop at Murray State University or anywhere in the Commonwealth that can help our citizenry be healthier or be better … or financially better off or economically or healthwise then we wanna do that,” says Brannon.
Brannon says he’s often contacted by people interested in growing hemp in Kentucky. He says he hopes the different varieties will serve different purposes as the industry develops.
This year’s crop is expected to be ready for harvest in three to four weeks.