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Kentucky’s growing hemp industry to get new storage, testing facility in Cynthiana later this year

A leader in Kentucky’s burgeoning hemp industry is making plans to open a hemp growers’ service center near Cynthiana later this year.

Brian Furnish, an eighth-generation tobacco farmer turned hemp grower believes hemp as a farm commodity is ready for an independent storage and marketing facility similar to those long used in the livestock, tobacco and grain industries.

“Right now, hemp producers are kind of stuck if they don’t have a buyer ready to take delivery when their hemp is harvested and dried,” says Furnish. “But if they can ship to a convenient facility where buyers are also engaged, it benefits everyone.”

(KyForward File Photo)

Currently, many farmers contract directly with hemp processors and manufacturers, and delivery, product specification and prices can vary widely. Those that do not have contracts in place before harvest, can find themselves without a reliable way to sell their product when the time comes.

To make the marketing process easier for both sellers and buyers, the new facility, named Kentucky Hemp Service Center, would be able to test a farmer’s hemp for the characteristics that certain buyers are looking for. For instance processors who produce CBD oil are looking for hemp that contains a high level of that, while those who are in the market for fiber may require a different sort of hemp product. Testing also can determine levels of residual pesticides and heavy metals drawn from the soil.

Harrison County, just north of Georgetown, is being considered for the first Kentucky Hemp Service Center. Others may soon be created elsewhere in Kentucky, near areas with concentrations of production.

“We’re nearing a time when a lot of hemp will come on the market,” says Furnish, “and we hope to be up and running soon, to help farmers have a place to receive their 2019 harvest.” Announcement of an opening date is forthcoming later this fall.

Furnish anticipates the service centers may become more than warehouses, also helping hemp farmers obtain some of the specialized farming equipment, fertilizer and other products needed to produce a bountiful quality hemp crop.

In pioneering Kentucky’s hemp industry since it was first legalized in 2015, Furnish and his brothers discovered that learning to farm the product successful can be extremely difficult. “‘Hempin’ ain’t easy’ is what I always say,” says Furnish. “We hope to make it little easier on the farmer with the new receiving station.”

Former Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer says, “Brian Furnish has been a leader in hemp from the very beginning. I am excited to see him create a new outlet for so many farmers currently growing hemp.”

Farmers in Kentucky have planted more than 50,000 acres of industrial hemp in 2019. It is crop many believe will replace burley tobacco as a major revenue-generating commodity for the state’s agricultural producers.

From Gen 8 Farms LLC

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  1. Joe Downey says:

    Is there anyone buying Hemp out there please need info on someone to purchase our crop.

  2. Mark johnston says:

    I’m looking for someone that’s buying hemp out there need to sell crop we have big buds

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