The Iowa Department of Agriculture is registering prospects for the second year of industrial hemp growing.

Robin Pruisner oversees the program and says they have an online system this year that potential growers can use. “We can license them and email them their license rights. No mailing back and forth. We’re expanding this software program so that people can create their planting reports online, those pre-harvest notifications, ”says Pruisner,“ and we’re just trying to make this very elegant and very efficient instead of sending lots of emails that could be lost walk. “

Pruisner says they now have the final federal rules and that will bring some changes.
She says last year when the crop was tested, growers only had 15 days to harvest everything. Now under the USDA you have 30 days.

The hemp must have a THC level of point three or lower to be acceptable. According to Pruisner, there are a few more options beyond just destroying the hemp if the crop fails the test.

She wasn’t sure what to expect in the first year. “In 2020, we issued a total of 86 temporary licenses over the course of the year. I would estimate that hemp was actually grown somewhere between 70 and 75, ”says Pruisner.

According to Pruisner, there are many reasons why someone gets a license and then doesn’t grow a crop. “I think some of this has to do with getting their hands on the semen or the grafts. I also know that hemp production requires an enormous amount of manual work, ”says Pruisner. “I think some realize how much work they have to do sooner than others and maybe they weren’t prepared for it, and maybe they don’t do everything in time to get their crops into the ground.”

According to Pruisner, finding a way to process and sell the hemp is also a problem. “I know at least one hemp processor who has gone through the licensing process through the Inspections and Complaints Department. But finding these buyers and processors is very difficult for people who grow hemp, ”she says.

According to Pruisner, many of the license applications she receives this year come from new growers who did not apply in the first year. She says this is not unusual considering what she has heard from other states. The application process is open until May 1st.