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Ernst learns more about hemp during tour of Cerro Gordo County farm

CLEAR LAKE — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst on Tuesday stopped at a rural Cerro Gordo County farm to learn more about growing hemp.

Ernst toured the Greg Nicholas farm, learning more about the crop’s potential growth in the state. “The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the growing of hemp in the United States and it’s got incredible industrial uses, but as we were visiting today with the Nicholases, finding out that the CBD is the product that they are going for, so really excited about the opportunity.”

Ernst says hemp could join corn and soybeans as a major cash crop in Iowa in the future.   “Talking about crop rotation and corn, soybeans, and throw hemp into that mix. The farmers are limited to 40 acres of hemp production but as Greg Nicholas said, 15 acres was enough for them. It is very labor-intensive.”

Ernst says one of the big concerns raised by the Nicholases and others is the level of THC allowed in the product.  “They can’t go over 0.3 is what is written into the law, but there are other countries that will maybe go as high as 1.0 with a THC level. That is something that we can probably work on. At that level, the THC is still not enough to smoke and get high, but that is a suggestion we can take back. Then also working with the state and their testing procedures.”

Ernst, who sits on the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, also stopped on Tuesday at Renner Family Farms in Hancock County and visited students involved with the Charles City FFA Chapter.

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