A few years ago, no more than 100 acres were being used to grow hemp. Now, there are an estimated 27,000 acres of hemp plants in the states. Southern Oregon is where the heaviest concentration of hemp farms are located.
The state also has about 1,700 hemp and marijuana cultivators, Oregon Live says. The increase in hemp cultivation is partially due to Oregon having one of the most optimal climates for the plant to grow in successfully. Younger farmers are learning the ropes of growing hemp now too.
Jay Noller, a hemp scientist and director of hemp research, said, “It forestalls the acquisition and consolidation of agriculture lands across the state because now a family entity can keep going rather than be subsumed into a larger farm.”
Hemp and marijuana plants are still confused because they do look very similar. Some still think that marijuana plants will be hidden in hemp fields not understanding that the two really cannot be cultivated in the same field.
Hemp farming is on the increase in Oregon, which comes with a few growing pains for regulators to keep up with making sure crops are tested no less than 15 days prior to harvest. By next year though, there will be changes coming to compliance rules as hemp farmers will have to adopt what the USDA has outlined for rules and regulations.