USDA issues domestic hemp production rules

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 7:52 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - This past Monday the USDA published a final rule for domestic hemp production. For Wisconsin hemp growers, they will continue to operate under the rules of the 2014 Farm Bill through the end of this year. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection officials in Wisconsin say they will publish the new rule sometime in May. That new final rule does deal with acceptable levels of THC in hemp plants and ways to deal with the plants if those levels are too high. The new rule also limits negligent violations to one a year.

A group of agricultural organizations is pushing the Biden Administration to hold Mexico and Canada’s feet to the fire when it comes to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade agreement. Regarding Mexico, those groups are concerned about trade issues regarding biotech crops, organics, market access for U.S. farm products and enforcement of the European Union’s Geographic Indicators. When it comes to Canada, the groups continue to have problems with the U.S. dairy industry being able to ship product into Canada. That was the main topic this week when new U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai held a virtual meeting with Canada’s top trade officials.

Unless Congress extends the deadline, farmers and other small businesses only have until next Wednesday March 31st to apply for a Payroll Protection Program loan. The program was started because of the Covid-19 pandemic under the CARES Act and provides forgivable loans up to $10 million. The program is for farmers and businesses of all sizes and you don’t have to have employees to qualify. There is no minimum loan size and the money can be used for more than just meeting a payroll—things like land rent, utility bills, payments to suppliers and even to make interest payments on land and equipment loans.

Egg production across the country and in Wisconsin was down slightly in February, but there still should be plenty available for the Easter egg hunts. Nationally production fell about 4% from last February but our 394 million laying hens still left 8.6 billion eggs in their nests. In Wisconsin, our 7.6 million hens laid 171 million eggs—down 8% from January. That ranks us 15th in the country in egg production. Iowa continues to be number 1 with over 1.1 billion eggs in February.

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