By Clint Thompson
One of the top specialty crop-producing states has added another commodity to its impressive resume.
Hemp production is in its second year in Florida. There are 895 licenses issued, equating to 1,086 locations and 22,755 permitted acres in 65 of Florida’s 67 counties, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). The crop’s potential is what has Florida Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried most excited.
“I am ecstatic about where we are with the hemp industry,” Fried said. “We know it uses less fertilizer, pesticides and it is really going to be something that is going to revolutionize our country by replacing the plastic and our styrofoam; use it as bio-fuel. I’m so delighted to see that so many of our Ag industries here in Florida wanting to participate. It’s going to take some time for the industry to completely grow and for everybody to figure out how to grow hemp in the state of Florida and all the different weather conditions that come with it here in the state. I am confident that we are best positioned here in the state to be successful.”
Last year’s hemp production numbers in Florida yielded 689 permits, 22,700 permitted acres, 271 planted acres with 44 acres destroyed.