Some of Iowa's first hemp crop had to be destroyed

Some of Iowa's first hemp crop had to be destroyed

Jay Kata's first hemp crop went up in smoke.

The plants grown by him and his farming partners in southeast Iowa were mowed down, windrowed — then set ablaze.

What remained was tilled under after the field became "too hot": The level of THC — tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound in cannabis plants like hemp — exceeded state and federal limits.

"It was pretty heartbreaking," said Kata, who was among nearly 90 Iowans this year who set out to produce the state's first government-authorized crop of hemp, a close relative of marijuana.

Iowa farmers planted hemp on about 680 acres this year, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Growers are hoping to cash in on a burgeoning market for hemp-derived cannabidiols, or CBDs. The non-psychoactive compound is being added to everything from sparking water and chocolates to body creams and dog treats with the promise that it can relieve a host of maladies.

Read the full article on the Des Moines Register website.

Want more news on this topic? Iowa Farm Bureau members may subscribe for a free email news service, featuring the farm and rural topics that interest them most!