Interest among farmers in industrial hemp is building to an all-time high. The demand for product is there. Now for the supply part. According to the latest crop report from Vote Hemp, intent from growers to plant the alternative crop is there, too, with more than 511,000 acres now licensed across the U.S. This updated figure represents a 455% increase over last year’s stats.
A portion of the organization’s report reads as follows: “Intent is a useful indicator, but we know from previous years that significantly less hemp is planted than what is licensed due to a variety of factors including access to seed and/or clones as well as inexperience.”
Given that philosophy, Vote Hemp is estimating 230,000 acres of hemp will be planted, and 50% to 60% of that will be harvested due to factors such as crop failure, non-compliant crops, and other elements — resulting in (roughly) 115,000 to 138,000 acres of harvested hemp.
Vote Hemp, which has produced an annual Hemp Crop Report documenting the licensed cultivation of hemp in the U.S. since 2016, plans to follow up with more numbers once planting and harvest data are reported.
The annual hemp cultivation data and other statistics are provided by state departments of agriculture, according to the organization. Where states were unable to provide data on the hemp acreage planted, a 70% of licensed hemp acreage was used as an estimate.