Hemp is the belle of the crop ball in 2019, with farmers lined up for a

Hemp is the belle of the crop ball in 2019, with farmers lined up for a chance to dance—but desire does not necessarily translate to know-how. From seed to harvest to processing, U.S. growers are asking a litany of hemp questions. The year of hemp jubilee has arrived, roughly 80 years after Uncle Sam locked the maligned cannabis variety in the federal attic. American farmers can officially play the hemp game—so says the 2018 farm bill—and for prospective growers facing a chain of hemp management questions, invaluable answers are found in fellow farmers’ fields. Whether seed, fiber or cannabidiol (CBD), hemp growers share a colossal commonality: They are all learning on the go. “Everybody wants to know how to farm hemp,” says Joseph Sisk, “but they don’t realize that everyone already growing hemp does it differently.” Located in western Kentucky’s Christian County, Sisk, 45, grows 5,000 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat. For the last three years, alongside farming partner Todd Harton, Sisk has grown hemp exclusively for CBD, a highly desired extract of cannabis and present darling of the hemp industry. By 2022, the overall CBD market value is projected to approach $2 billion, a...

Biodiversity Day: Focus on food biodiversity and human health

Sustainable management of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes and seascapes can support the transition towards healthy diets, says UN Environment biodiversity expert May 22 — which is celebrated as the International Biodiversity Day — has brought back the focus to Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health this year. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), decides the theme for the day every year — this year, the focus is on food and health as there is a direct link between biodiversity, food and human wellbeing. Over the last hundred years more than 90 per cent of crop varieties have disappeared. “The sustainable management of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes and seascapes can support the transition towards healthy diets, and more sustainable consumption and production patterns, in changing climate conditions,” UN Environment biodiversity expert Marieta Sakalian was quoted as saying. “In case of India, many indigenous crop varieties have been lost from farm lands after the green revolution,” says Sridhar Radhakrishnan, director of Thanal — an organisation which focuses on sustainable farming practices. Thanal, along with others, has been running a rice campaign ov...