ROGUE VALLEY, Ore --- It's the beginning of hemp season. Last year, it seemed like there was hemp everywhere. This year, some local farmers don't think that will be the case.
"I think a lot of people just were one and done. Let me tell you, it can wear you out." said Paul Murdoch. He is the owner of Horn Creek Hemp Co. He is one farmer that thrived during the 2019 hemp season. He currently grows 17 acres of hemp. "This is a very labor intensive crop. It seems easy to plant. So if you are going to plant five acres, why not plant 50?" said Murdoch.
"A lot of farmers grew a large amount of acreage for their first year. Mother nature did not cooperate." said Michael Johnson. He is the chief operating officer for Siskiyou Sungrown. It's a local CBD shop. Last year, his business only grew three acres. "We are small ma and pa company. Hemp is a very productive plant, as far as it's yield per acre." said Johnson
Johnson says some farmers rushed into planting. Almost a full year later, those farmers are still trying to sell their crops. "It's a brand new market. So, we are going to see some highs and some lows." said Johnson.
What about the fields of hemp that were left to rot last year? Murdoch says the rotting is not harmful to the community, but it is to other hemp farmers. He says now the hemp is growing wild. It's not being controlled or taken care of. "It's going to be a challenge, not for the general community, but for other hemp farmers." said Murdoch.
Even though you won't find as many acres of hemp this year, don't expect the plant to disappear. "Southern Oregon is a great region for growing hemp and that's not going to change." said Johnson.