Hemp to highlight Nov. 5 conference in Wichita Falls

AgriLife Extension updates on regulations, management practices

David Graf, right top, and Calvin Trostle, right bottom, were among the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service team who visited Ryan Wainer’s Rocky Ford Hemp farm in Colorado. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

VERNON – A Rolling Plains Industrial Hemp Conference will be held Nov. 5 by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at the Sikes Lake Center at Midwestern State University at Wichita Falls.

To get to the site, follow U.S. Hwy. 287 to Kell W. Boulevard. Take Taft Boulevard exit off U.S. Hwy. 277 S. and go south to Midwestern Parkway. Turn right at the first stoplight and left to the facility.

Preregistration is due by Oct. 28 to the AgriLife Extension office in Wichita County at 940-716-8610 or wichita-tx@tamu.edu. The fee of $50 is payable at the door and will include a meal and educational materials. 

Registration will begin at 8 a.m., followed by a welcome at 9:15 a.m. by Barry Mahler, Wichita County commissioner. The program will conclude at 3:30 p.m.

“We realize there is a lot of information out there concerning hemp,” said Brent Batchelor, AgriLife Extension regional program leader, Stephenville. “Our hope is this conference will begin the process of sorting through the possibilities for the future.”

David Graf, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in Wichita County, said there has been tremendous interest expressed about hemp in the Rolling Plains.

“With no infrastructure or research on hemp in the region, we want to provide the most relevant and unbiased information for our area so producers and potential investors can make informed decisions in the outset of a potential new ag industry,” Graf said. “We expect to draw a crowd from a radius of up to 100 miles.”

Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock, will provide an introduction to the hemp industry. He will discuss hemp products and processing as well as the differences in growing seeds and transplants, growing for CBD oil or fiber, and equipment needs.

Ryan Wainer, Rocky Ford Hemp Co., Colorado, will address farming for CBD oil in Colorado. He will discuss growing practices such as planting and harvesting, weed and irrigation management, and variety selection, as well as THC/CBD levels and pricing structure – price paid for 10% levels versus higher or lower. 

A Texas Department of Agriculture update on regulations for hemp production will be provided by Dan Hunter, TDA assistant commissioner for water and rural affairs, Austin.

Following lunch, Trostle will provide more information on production considerations such as planting date, plants per acre, seed depth, water needs, weed control, insects, diseases, fertilizer rates and timing, and soil type.

Pancho Abello, AgriLife Extension economist, Vernon, will present an economics rundown for hemp producers.

A question and answer panel will wrap up the program along with Batchelor outlining AgriLife Extension’s role in hemp production.

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