Applications begin in October for 2016 Industrial Hemp Program

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA)will be posting the application for the 2016 Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program during the month of October. This is a competitive program and not all applicants will be selected for participation. In 2015, 326 applications were received and 121 were approved.

Persons interested in the 2016 Research Pilot program may wish to review the 2015 application for an understanding of the nature of questions that will be asked on the 2016 application. The 2016 application will be different from the 2015 application.

Please understand at this time KDA staff is not available to meet individually with prospective applicants. The hemp program staff is currently engaged with harvest season tasks associated with the 2015 program and with preparations for 2016. Availability by phone will be extremely limited also.

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As the 2014 Farm Bill section 7606 authorized Departments of Agriculture to create industrial hemp research pilot programs, we wish to remind everyone that the focus of this program is research. Applicants interested in growing industrial hemp for personal use are not considered to be aligned with the purpose of the program and would not be selected for participation.

Additionally, KDA is not in the position to offer direct consultation to participants on how to produce industrial hemp. Prospective participants are to conduct research which will add to the industrial hemp body of knowledge that is currently limited. For a better understanding of hemp production techniques refer to a recent publication by the University of Kentucky.

All costs associated with the research are the responsibility of the participant. There are no sources of funding from KDA to cover any aspect of your research project. Participants should understand that at the present time it is likely that they may suffer a loss on the industrial hemp crop. Limited market availability combined with uncertain production knowledge creates significant risk for the participant. The focus of this program is the collection of research data.

Persons interested in Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Research Program and not already on the email notification list should send an email to with your name. Notifications will include announcements for industrial hemp field days, conferences, application releases, etc.
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