COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) — An historic crop is putting it’s roots back into South Carolina soil.
Twenty farmers have been approved to grow industrial help. One of the farmers, Nat Bradford, says he has been waiting twenty years to be able to grow this crop.
“This is fiber. This is grain. This is cold-pressed oil,” he points out all the different uses for the plant.
In 2017, South Carolina passed Bill 3559, as known as the Industrial Hemp Bill.
The pilot, research-based program allows 20 farmers in the state to work with local universities and cultivate industrial hemp.
Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Department of Agriculture Commissioner, says it is an “opportunity to diversify our crop mix.” He adds, “we need that in South Carolina.”
The first few years will be focused on research, to understand where the crop grows best.
“Is it our sandy, low soils? Or do we go Upstate to our more clay based soils?” Weathers say, “the first couple of years are really going to be telling us about the prospects of this crop.”
Those against growing