Virginia’s inclusion sought in crop insurance program for industrial hemp

Virginia’s inclusion sought in crop insurance program for industrial hemp

A bipartisan group of Virginia’s congressional delegation is advocating for the state’s inclusion in a federal crop insurance program for industrial hemp.

AgriLogic Consulting LLC, is working to develop a federal yield-based crop insurance program for industrial hemp, which has been growing in popularity since the passage of the 2018 farm bill legalized the production of the crop.

But there was concern Virginia, which had more than 800 registered growers as of July, would not be eligible for the program. In response, Virginia’s two U.S. senators and six members of the House of Representatives wrote a joint letter to AgriLogic asking for the state to be included.

The following officials signed the Sept. 25 letter: Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and Reps. Denver Riggleman, Morgan Griffith, Ben Cline, Abigail Spanberger, Elaine Luria and Don Beyer.

“We have concerns that Virginia is not currently under consideration for a pilot program for the 2020 growing season, despite having a robust Industrial Hemp Program that has led to exponential growth in hemp production over the past year, as well as a prior centuries-long history of hemp being a key commodity in Virginia agriculture,” the letter states.

Growers indicated to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services they intended to plant some 8,500 acres of hemp this year. The letter says the agency projects up to 15,000 acres of hemp could be planted by the 2020 growing season.

“If these projections are met, Virginia would be one of the top hemp-producing states in the country by acre,” the letter reads.

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