Participants sought for 2018 industrial hemp pilot program

A field of industrial hemp

BISMARCK – Participants are being sought for North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s 2018 industrial hemp pilot program.

“Industrial hemp may only be grown in North Dakota through the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s pilot program or by institutions of higher education,” North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “We are currently seeking applicants wishing to participate in the department’s pilot program for the purposes of agricultural or academic research.”

A provision in the 2014 farm bill gives authority to state departments of agriculture to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes. Participants planted 70 acres of hemp in 2016 and more than 3,000 acres in 2017.

The NDDA encourages all interested parties (growers, processors, etc.) to submit a project proposal application to be considered for the 2018 cropping season.

Along with the application, interested parties must submit two sets of fingerprints, a completed Criminal History Record Check Request form, and a $40 nonrefundable check or money order made out to the ND Department of Agriculture to cover the cost of a background check. Past participants do not have to undergo background checks. Proposals will be ranked by a committee appointed by the agriculture commissioner.

Applicants chosen will be required to submit an industrial hemp license application, signed memorandum of understanding and associated licensing fees.

Applications and instructions can be found at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/plant-industries/industrial-hemp.

The deadline for proposal documents is 5 p.m. CST, Friday, December 29, 2017. Emailed or faxed submissions will not be accepted.

Research proposals will be date stamped when received.

Goehring said applicants needing more information should contact the Department of Agriculture’s Rachel Seifert-Spilde at 701-328-4128 or rseifert@nd.gov.