Printed: 8/1/2021 8:04:42 AM
As a farmer I felt validated by Peter Melnik’s phrases within the July 26 article “Reps Acquire Farmer’s Perception on Bar-Means Hemp Tour.” Peter is quoted as saying “I really feel just like the state is making an attempt to make me a legal” and that “the state makes it troublesome to develop hemp.” That is precisely how I felt making an attempt to work with the state Division of Agricultural Sources (MDAR) as a licensed hemp grower for 2 seasons.
In 35 years of farming, I’ve by no means skilled something as demoralizing as MDAR’s hemp program.
I spoke with hemp farmers in neighboring Maine and Vermont who had fully totally different experiences. Whereas adhering to federal necessities, their states had been actively working with farmers to incorporate them in growing a hemp program that honored small farmers, and supplied schooling and encouragement alongside the best way. Massachusetts is one street block after one other, delivered in a dehumanizing method.
It was my hope in rising hemp to make use of no-till natural strategies to share outcomes with different farmers and see whether or not this multi-use, non-psychoactive, CO2 absorbing crop might develop into a part of our farm ecosystem and livelihood. Two years of frustration had been capped with MDAR’s compelled destruction of our lovely crops as a result of they had been .004 % over restrict, plus lack of hard-earned time and money.
Hemp growers purchase seed from examined sources — but climate creates fluctuations at harvest time. Whereas the entire plant is used for processing, MDAR insisted on testing tops solely. Some astounding figures in hempgrower.com observe that, for instance, Louisiana had solely 3% of farmer’s hemp check sizzling whereas Massachusetts destroyed 40% of small farmers crops in 2020. When MDAR was rolling out this program I used to be obsessed with being a part of one thing modern and inclusive. Sadly, my expertise as a farmer was completely the other.