Wisconsin Hemp is Growing

Hemp has only been legal in Wisconsin since 2018 after having been illegal for decades. Because of that, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been focusing a considerable amount of time and effort into researching hemp growth in Wisconsin.

Dr. Shelby Ellison works for the University on their hemp research. Their research began looking at the basics of how to grow hemp. This was necessary since it has been so long since hemp has been grown in Wisconsin.

“The last hemp crop in the United States was grown in 1958 in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Ellison. Wisconsin had been a leader in growing hemp before that. Because of that, there wasn’t a knowledge base from which farmers could lean into as they began growing hemp again.

The acreage utilized for hemp is fairly small. Dr. Ellison shares that most farmers are using 1 or 2 acres to grow the CBD hemp. Growers who planted the grain and fiber hemp are typically planting 1 to 10 acres. While the acreage is small, Dr. Ellison doesn’t anticipate that it will stay that way.

“That’s gonna grow, I think, pretty rapidly,” said Dr. Ellison. She believes once processing plants are up in running, there will be a greater need for fiber hemp. Once that happens, Dr. Ellison can envision farms transitioning into 40 acre plots or greater.