Illinois Releases 2019 Hemp Season Statistics

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Illinois hemp statistics
Image: chrisbeez

Final harvest numbers from the 2019 hemp growing season in Illinois have been made available by the state’s Department of Agriculture (IDOA).

For the season last year, IDOA issued 651 hemp grower licenses – but not all put in a crop, with 137 licence holders failing to do so for whatever reasons.

Among those that did, a total of 2.27 million pounds of total yield was produced. Breaking that yield down:

  • Biomass: 1,482,489 pounds
  • Flower: 595,128 pounds
  • Seed: 65,489 pounds
  • Stalk: 15,107 pounds

The biomass and flower are typically used for cannabidiol (CBD) extraction, while the stalk is used for fibre applications and seed for next year’s crop and hemp seed oil.

“We are encouraged by these yield numbers and optimistic for the 2020 growing season,” said Jerry Costello, IDOA Acting Director.

A total of 7,141 acres of hemp was planted during the season and 5,233 acres harvested (73%). 119 licensees planted more than 5 acres.

The 2019 season saw plenty of initial interest, with more than 350 applications received in the first two days.

IDOA is currently accepting applications for the 2020 hemp growing season – and it doesn’t appear there are any hard limits on the numbers of licences that can be issued. It’s possible that hemp grown this season will be under the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, which is permitted for this year. The USDA web site indicates Illinois is still drafting a state hemp plan for review and approval in order to operate under the 2018 Farm Bill.

The state’s hemp rules as adopted in 2019 can be found here. As in most other states, one of the rules is the maximum level of the cannabinoid THC is 0.3%. However, if hemp tests between 0.3% and 0.7% it can be retested; but this is done as the expense of the grower. Crops testing above 0.3% on this second test, or if the grower chooses not to pursue the second test, must be destroyed. All hemp grown in the state is subject to random testing.

Illinois was previously major producer of hemp and it has set its sights on regaining that status.