Industrial hemp growers plant over 1,000 acres in South Dakota

Jerry Oster, WNAXSeptember 13, 2021Agriculture News
Photo Industrial Hemp

PIERRE, SD – It’s been a successful first year so far for industrial hemp growers in South Dakota. The first ever hemp farm within a city limit went in in Fort Pierre and is being used mostly for research. South Dakota Industrial Hemp Executive Director Katie Sieverding says most of the acres were put in East River with most of it going for grain and fiber.

“We ended up with around 1,600 acres planted.  There were initial plans for more but some growers may have changed their minds due to drought concerns,” says Sieverding.

She says State Senator Josh Klumb of Mt Vernon planted some this year and they’re expecting to see more hemp going in next year.

“What’s exciting is that the people who have planted it are getting a lot of interest from their neighbors.  Everyone I’ve talked with plans to plant more acres next year.  I think we’ll see a big increase.”

Sieverding says less than one percent of the industrial hemp is going for CBD oil with most of it going for grain and fiber and being sent to Montana or Kansas for processing.

A seed company in Willow Lake is also contracting for seed after harvest.

She says a lot of the fiber that’s process in Kansas is sent to the East Coast for products like cutting boards, kitchen utensils and other commercial items.

Sieverding says the organization’s recent field day in Willow Lake drew 50 participants with representatives from the South Bend, KS processing plant attending.