In 2019, hemp joined the cornucopia of crops – potatoes, corn, commodity and high-fiber wheat, commodity, and food grade-soybeans, sugar beets, and edible beans – yielded by Sproule Farms, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Sproule Farms first received a license to produce hemp in a 2017 pilot program. They didn’t leap on manufacturing, though, until Sproule and his son-in-law, David Gorder, met Monte Robertson, founder of the Colorado stationed processor San Luis Valley Hemp Firm, at the last January meeting.
Hemp grain ranks high in dietary worth, says Sproule. It’s full of protein, comprises essential amino acids, and is a rich source of heart-healthy omega-three fatty acids, and others, he says.
Hemp shares relations with many crops. Sproule Farms drilled hemp with an air drill it also employed for wheat. Last year, hemp had no identified herbicides. Nevertheless, the hemp soon suppressed rising weeds.
Adverse weather troubles hemp, too. Excessive rainfall in September followed by more rain, and even snow in October tormented the Upper Midwest last year. Hemp harvest proceeded, but the 821-pound-per-acre yield across 1,092 acres was one-half of expectations as a result of crop breaking down under heavy snow, he says.
Hemp markets are in flux. Since Sproule says hemp grain has a greater market scope than other hemp types, they plan to yield hemp grain this year.