Fred Strathmeyer

On this week’s Industrial Hemp Podcast, we talk to Fred Strathmeyer, Deputy Secretary of Plant Industry and Consumer Protection at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture where he oversees the state’s industrial hemp program.

We talk about some of the challenges that Pennsylvania farmers and the team at PDA faced this year in terms of sampling, testing, and COVID-19.

He also unveils some details about the changes to the hemp program for 2021 — most notably the plant minimum and acreage requirements. The permit application process opens for mail-in applicants December 5.

Applicants interested in easier application, renewal and online payment are encouraged to wait until January, when the upgraded system is expected to be available.

We talk about the Pennsylvania Hemp Steering committee and how it was instrumental in shaping the program for next year. Strathmeyer also says why he thinks the USDA will change the 15-day-to-harvest requirement in the final rule. And of course we talk about this week’s Pennsylvania Hemp Summit, Dec. 8 and 9.

Pennsylvania Department of Ag's 2021 Hemp Program

https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/industrial_hemp/Pages/default.aspx

Pennsylvania Hemp Summit

https://pahempsummit.com/

Hemp News Nuggets

Cannabis legalization bill set for historic U.S. House vote

https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2020/11/30/cannabis-legalization-bill.html

Farmers hoping to cash in with Iowa's first legal hemp crop find hard work and risk: Some of it had to be destroyed

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2020/11/24/some-iowas-first-hemp-crop-burned-after-exceeding-thc-limits/6356257002/

Saratoga County-based nursery sues Washington County Sheriff, alleges deputies destroyed legally grown hemp

https://dailygazette.com/2020/11/29/saratoga-county-based-nursery-sues-washington-county-sheriff-alleges-deputies-destroyed-legally-grown-hemp/

Newsletter

The most obvious source of funding for non-rural constituents was the PA Farm Bill’s urban ag grant program. In the program’s first year, the state awarded 28 grants totaling $500,000. Read more

Paul and Sandy Arnold are perpetually looking for varieties of lettuce and greens that will increase efficiencies and improve profitability at their Pleasant Valley Farm, a Certified Naturally Grown operation about an hour north of Albany. Read more