North Dakota is looking for more hemp farmers

North Dakota’s Agriculture Department is seeking participants for the third year of the state’s industrial hemp research program.

The goal of the program is to determine whether hemp can be a successful crop in North Dakota, and which varieties work best in the state’s climate.

Five North Dakota producers planted 70-plus acres of hemp in 2016, and those numbers grew to 35 cultivators and over 3,000 acres this year.

North Dakota is one of the original 10 states authorized to grow hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill. The number of states producing hemp has grown to 33.

Prospective hemp farmers in North Dakota must submit proposals for the 2018 program by 5 p.m. Dec. 29.

The proposals will be ranked by a committee appointed by Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, who will make the final choices.

– Associated Press