USDA finalizes new hemp production rule

Wisconsin State Farmer
USDA

The US Department of Agriculture has finalized their new rule to begin a domestic hemp production program effective Mar. 22.

A statement from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection assured hemp producers that they will continue to work under the guidance set by the 2014 Farm Bill through the remainder of 2021. The agency is also anticipating publishing an emergency rule by May.

"In accordance with the federal final rule, the department’s emergency rule will provide a pathway for hemp growers to remediate their crop if an initial regulatory THC test identifies that the crop exceeds the regulatory limit of 0.3% total delta-9 THC," the statement read.

There are limited remediation options at the federal level that will prevent total crop destruction, they also said, which will help producers avoid being suspended from the program, especially as they are learning about THC concentration in different varieties.

USDA is also now capping these negligence violations at one per year. The department will also begin sampling the top eight inches of the crop instead of the top two inches as previously done.