Ag Commissioner approves hemp

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring approved four proposals for the state's industrial hemp pilot program this week.

The 2014 Farm Bill allows state departments of agriculture to facilitate growth of hemp for research purposes. Though this is the first time individual farmers will be able to grow industrial hemp in the state, 12 varieties were grown in research plots at North Dakota State University’s Langdon Research Extension Center last year.

The following four growers were approved for 10- to 15-acre plots:

• David Lommen: researching grain, fiber, processing and oil extraction

• Clarence Laub: researching grain, fiber, processing and oil extraction

• Lyle Edwards and Jamie Edwards, operating as Black Dirt Inc. with variety trials and grain marketing

Industrial hemp can be used for oil, fiber, textiles, recycling, automotive, furniture, food, paper, construction materials and personal care, according to the Agriculture Department.

(Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com)

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