Fire at Pennsylvania drying shed prompts storage warning

Farmers drying hemp should treat their crops like hay and watch for overheating.

That’s the warning in the wake of a Pennsylvania fire this week in a shed that had been converted to a hemp dryer in Lancaster County.

The blaze cost farmer Alvin Esh about $5,000 to $6,000 worth of hemp, he told The Lancaster New Era.

Penn State University extension agent Alyssa A. Collins said the fire underscores the need for farmers to watch heat levels as they dry hemp like tobacco.

The plant “has a tendency to heat, just like hay,” she said.

Farmers trying to dry hemp like tobacco should also note that the two plants have different leaf structures and therefore different humidity needs, experts say.

To read more about the fire, click here.