New data from the Brightfield Group shows just how quickly hemp cultivation is booming in the U.S. Their findings show that there will be 2.3 million acres of planted hemp nationwide in 2023, a nearly 30-fold increase from 2018.
Approximately 285,000 acres of hemp have been planted stateside this year, making the U.S. the global leader in hemp cultivation.
“We wanted to know if there is an undersupply of U.S. grown hemp,” says Virginia Lee, research manager at Brightfield Group, to NutraIngredients-USA. “We found there is plenty of supply and we are predicting strong growth in hemp cultivation in the U.S.
CBD is a primary force behind the boost in hemp cultivation nationwide. Brightfield’s findings show that 87% of all U.S. grown hemp was planted for CBD extraction.
With many common crops suffering from falling prices, farmers are turning to hemp as a potential income source. Brightfield reports that an acre of hemp can potentially bring in $40,000 of revenue. Comparatively, an acre of corn only yields about $1,000.
“Given the commodity prices for corn, wheat and soy, famers are barely making any money,” says Lee. “Farmers can make much more money that they could growing [these crops].” However, she also notes “there is no guarantee of success” in growing hemp for the purpose of CBD extraction.
Hemp: The New Side Crop?
Many of the applications to grow hemp nationwide are coming from farmers. Wisconsin Representative Tony Kurtz believes adding hemp crops to daily farms could create side income that tobacco crops once did. Sugar better farmers in Wyoming and potato farmers in Maine are eyeing hemp for an additional profit. Meanwhile, Kentucky is also setting itself up for significant hemp growth in a bid to replace tobacco.
Lazarus Naturals and Hemp
Lazarus Naturals proudly grows its own hemp on our Central Oregon farm. Click here to read more from Evan Skandalis, our VP of Farm Operations, about all of the happenings on our farm.