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Home Grown: Growers attempt to bring industrial hemp to Yuma

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - In today's Home Grown, Industrial hemp used to be grown in Yuma back in the 1800's and 1900's, but bringing this crop back to our region is not an easy process.

There have been over three years of trials run by the u of a cooperative extension… trying to find the best variety of hemp to grow in our area.

“You have to do trials with different densities and figure out which seed really will work. It has grown here historically all the way up to 15 to even 20 feet tall,” said Cliff Stout and Dan Nowell, the Hemp Grower and Seedsman.

The purpose of bringing this grain and fiber hemp is finding a good rotational crop outside of the lettuce time period, like Sudan Grass and Cotton.

“We’re kind of hoping we could help the hemp come to the desert southwest and be processed for fiber. This isn’t CBD this is something completely different and it would just be for industrial building materials, paper, clothing,” said Stout and Nowell.

This hemp is under strict regulations by federal and state governments, with this trial variety containing only about .0006 six percent THC.

If this trial is a success, more farmers will want to be part of it.

“If we can get height and we can get seed, then enough money will go to the grower where a lot of people will want to participate," said Stout and Nowell.

Stout and Nowell say this crop could bring big bucks into our community.

“If we can get a decorticating plant here, then its literally hundreds of millions of influx into the community,” said Stout and Nowell.

The hemp will be ready for  harvest in late August, when we will find out if this crop can be successful in our desert southwest.

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Samantha Byrd

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