By Clint Thompson
Alabama hemp acreage is expected to decrease this season. That’s if growers feel comfortable enough to plant a crop amid the current hot and dry conditions.
It is quite the contrast to last year’s conditions, says Katelyn Kesheimer, Auburn University assistant professor and Extension specialist.
“I think I talked to you a year ago and it was too wet to get into the fields. Now I think it’s too dry if you’re growing outdoors,” Kesheimer said. “Another thing that can be especially problematic in this hot and dry weather is spider mites. We’ve already seen some outbreaks in strawberries. If you’re growing hemp, either indoor or outdoor, keep an eye out because they can quickly multiply when it gets this warm.”
The number of hemp producers in Alabama decreased last year, from 422 certified growers in 2020 to 173 in 2021. Kesheimer estimates the number of certified growers to remain the same this year, though acreage should decrease.
“We’re going to have reduced acres this year, but I think they’re going to be good. Not much has gone in the ground quite yet. I think a lot of people are waiting for rain and paperwork and everything. Our seeds are in the greenhouse and ready to go in the ground in a couple of weeks. We’re just hoping for some rain as well,” Kesheimer said.
Click here for more information about hemp production in Alabama.