More than 3,500 acres of New York farmland will be growing hemp in 2018, an increase of some 1,500 acres. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced the addition of 60 new farms to the industrial hemp program.

This is the first time a request for future research partners has been announced. The search for those interested in researching the use of hemp in food or fiber is now open and on-going. You can visit the state website for Agriculture and Markets for an application.

Solicitations for the original hemp program ended in November of last year and out of 100 applicants, 62 are currently participating. In 2017, there were just 20. There are also now 18 companies in New York that can process industrial hemp which is an important part of the potential growth of the industry.

Research projects include using hemp as a source of food, fiber, insulation, pellets for heating units and others. In a time where many farmers are hurting financially, a robust hemp industry could help turn things around.

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