Hemp Update #2

Applications for CBD Growing

New York State is accepting grower applications from individuals and businesses for the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. Applications for future research partners can be submitted in the areas of grain, fiber, and Cannabidiol (CBD). The Department is not accepting CBD processor applications at this time.  https://www.agriculture.ny.gov/pi/pihome.html

My recommendation: For not-yet-permitted CBD growers, given the lateness of the season and the scarcity quality of seed that is not already “spoken-for” for CBD production, it is best to apply for 2020 production.  Take the season to prepare/submit a quality application and be ready (permitted) by end of 2019 so acquiring seeds or plants is seamless.

For those who already are permitted, this is an opportunity to add acreage /locations if you have the plant matter to fill it. 

NYSDAM Seeks Letters of Interest from Hemp Cooperatives

The request for Research Letter of Interest from Agricultural Cooperatives New York has an opportunity to lead industry development by creating more opportunities for farm businesses to grow, process, produce, and market industrial hemp and industrial hemp products. Agricultural Cooperatives may be an advantageous business structure under which growers may consider entering the industrial hemp marketplace. Agricultural Cooperatives may be formed under Article 6 of the New York State Cooperative Corporations Law (https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/cooperative-corporations-law/#!tid=N210D7380BFCA48E5B2233EEF1AF5E923) for the production and merchandising of agricultural commodities. Agricultural Cooperatives provide the means by which farmers may act together in manufacturing, processing, preparing for market, handling and/or marketing their farm products. Farmers are also able to act together in purchasing, testing, grading, processing, distributing and/or furnishing farm supplies and/or farm business services. These cooperatives are owned and operated by and for the mutual benefit of its farmer members. To learn more about the potential for New York farmers to pool resources, spread risk, and share in the benefits with respect to industrial hemp, the Department would like to work with agricultural cooperatives or growers interested in exploring the feasibility of a cooperative business structure in the industrial hemp sector.

LETTERS OF INTEREST MUST BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING AND POSTMARKED OR EMAILED ON OR BEFORE JUNE 6, 2019. Letters of Interest and any questions must be submitted in writing to ag.dev@agriculture.ny.gov or through the U.S. mail to: NYS Department of Agricultural and Markets Agricultural Development Division Industrial Hemp Agricultural Cooperative Letter of Interest 10B Airline Drive Albany, NY 12235

Hemp Crop Insurance?

Crop Insurance through USDA/RMA is not available yet and a reasonable prediction is that it would not be available for 4-5 years for a crop-specific policy and I suspect, that would be for grain and fiber.  It may be longer for CBD if the costs of production stay where they are today as that complicates matters quite a bit.  Then, it may not be available in every county, even after policy is designed, because volume of production in a county determines inclusion.  Here is an article that was in Progressive Farmer that addresses that and a few other Farm Bill tid-bits related to insurance.


As for Whole Farm Revenue Protection coverage, it is not available for 2019 since the 2019 policy was defined before the 2018 farm Bill passed.  But for 2019, growing hemp does NOT preclude you from having Whole Farm for the other-than-hemp farm income in 2019 (previously that had been the case).  This RMA statement suggests that Whole Farm may be available for 2020.  Keeping exceptional records of costs and income, separate for hemp if you have other crops, will help you, when Whole Farm is available, to include hemp as an income stream that can be insured.  However, I’m not sure how Whole Farm will work, and when it would be available, if it is your only farm income and you do not have a farm income history prior to hemp.


However, several private agencies are offering crop insurance.  From my e-review, they seem to vary widely in what they cover and not and several do not give a lot of specifics.  Well, at least for me on their website without asking for a direct quote as a farmer.  For those of you new to crop insurance, I would be happy to walk through any quote you have to troubleshoot.

Other insurance:  Some of those companies offering crop insurance also offer other types of farm/product insurance such as liability.  Of course, having proper business insurance to protect you all along the way is vital, especially if your business is a sole-proprietorship or partnership to protect private assets.  Because  of that it is recommended that you form an S-corp or LLC for your business to insulate you and your personal assets from any accident/suit that might befall you.

Cornell Interested in Feral Hemp

If you happen to have a feral hemp population on your farm (a patch that has survived the many years since  hemp was cultivated on your farm or from seeds that fell out of rope etc.), Cornell Plant Breeding would like some of these live plants to use in the breeding program.  Utilizing the genetics from plants that have survived this long, outside of cultivation, would be an asset in developing vigorous New York varieties.  If you have such a stand (they are probably just up and identifiable now) please contact us to collect plants or seeds later in the year.

USDA Now Accepting Applications of Seed-Propagated Hemp for Plant Variety Protection

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that the Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) will start accepting applications of seed-propagated hemp for plant variety protection.

PVPO provides intellectual property protection to breeders of new varieties of seeds and tubers. Implementing the Plant Variety Protection Act, PVPO examines new applications and grants certificates that protect varieties for 20 years (25 years for vines and trees). Certificate owners have rights to exclude others from marketing and selling their varieties, manage the use of their varieties by other breeders, and enjoy legal protection of their work.

Applicants can submit their applications through the electronic application filing system, choosing hemp in the Crop Kind Dropdown box. The ePVP System provides an efficient and secure way to 1) file new plant variety protection applications, 2) amend existing applications, 3) pay fees, 4) check the status of an application, and 5) correspond directly with PVPO staff.

All new ePVP System users must be e-authenticated before being able to use the system. Click on http://www.eauth.usda.gov/ to apply for a USDA eAuthentication Account.

  • Domestic users: Request level 2 access and follow the instructions to establish the account.
  • International users: Request level 1 access only; and upon creating the account, email name and contact information to pvpomail@ams.usda.gov to finalize the account authorization.
  • Once e-Authentication has been completed, applicants can proceed to establish an ePVP

For questions on e-Authentication, logging into the ePVP System and PVPO operation, please e-mail pvpomail@ams.usda.gov or call (202) 260-8983. Information on program requirements, fees and forms is also provided on the PVPO website.

Upcoming Educational Opportunities:

More info to follow….but mark your calendars!

·         Eastern NY Hemp Conf & Expo – Albany- June 3-4 https://www.ushempexpos.com/about-eastern

•       Willsboro Farm Field Day – July 10

•       Aurora Farm Field Crops Field Day – July 11

•       Freeville Organic Farm Field Day – July 31

•       Long Island Hort Res Ext Center Plant Science Day – July 31

•       Hemp Workshop – Empire Farm Days – Aug 6-8

•       Cornell Hemp Field Day – Geneva – Aug. 13

•       Cornell CBD Hemp Field Day – Bluegrass Lane, Ithaca – Sept. 10?