HOLTWOOD, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has issued hundreds of permits to grow industrial hemp in the state this year.
Because this old crop is new again, there are very few people in the state with much knowledge about growing it.
That is why Steve Groff, of Cover Crop Coaching, is hosting a monthly series of meetings and demonstrations at his Cedar Meadow Farm in Holtwood, Lancaster County.
The first meeting, focusing on hemp establishment, will be Thursday, May 30, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
"We're going to be rolling cover crops, and then we're going to demonstrate no-till transplanting into the cover crops to show people how it's done," Groff said. "Then we'll have a discussion to answer any questions regarding that or anything about growing hemp, but our focus will be on how to establish it."
Groff will demonstrate planting hemp using a no-till vegetable planter, but he said that a single-row no-till tobacco planter would work just as well.
Groff has teamed up with Lancaster County farmer Andre Fry, who has years of experience growing hemp for CBD production in Colorado.
"If you're excited to get your hands in the soil and get more hands-on with hemp, instead of just reading about how to grow it, then this is exactly what you want to come to," Fry said.
At monthly meetings throughout the summer, Groff and Fry will address seasonal issues as the crop progresses, such as fertilizing and irrigating, managing for pests, checking for male plants, testing for cannabinoids, and harvesting.
Pre-register for $99 by calling 717-575-5688 or pay $120 at the door. Learn more at HempInnovators.com