By Clint Thompson
Alabama hemp producers need to plant their crop now to ensure it is in the ground and growing by the July 31 deadline. According to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), if you are a first-time outdoor grower and do not have green plants up and growing by July 31, ADAI will need to know why and what immediate plans you have to grow as this delayed planting will affect your crop in 2020.
Katelyn Kesheimer, Auburn University Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, estimates that if growers plant their seed by the second or third week in July, they should be okay with the plant emerging by the end of the month.
“If you’re planting from seed, which a lot of people are, then you have to have them up and emerged by July 31. My guess would be if it got held up further, they might make some exceptions for people who were approved really late,” Kesheimer said. “But if you were approved in May and you don’t have seed or green plants by the end of July, they’re probably not going to cut you any slack.”
All growers will also be required to respond to an emailed status report request as to growing activities by Aug. 1. At the time of the status report, if you determine that you will not be growing for 2020, you will receive a certified letter voiding your 2020 grower license.
This will nullify your grow status for the rest of the season but in no way will negatively impact your ability to apply for and obtain future grower licenses in Alabama.