Hemp cultivators are required to register with the FSA.

Cultivators are required to register as an operator with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to ensure the land/tract is properly identified within the farm record system.  Cultivators will also be required to file a hemp planting report with the FSA.  To locate an FSA office, please visit the FSA website: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov

To create farm/tract numbers, They need the parcel numbers from the auditor’s office.   The auditor’s site is available to the public – if you can print off or email the info – the FSA can use the name and address from the parcel card to setup the owners.   Really doesn’t matter if the planting is indoor or in the field to create the farm/tract info.  They may get further instructions on indoor plantings for acreage reports – as it gets closer to reporting time.

Surety Bond

Some states are requiring processors to obtain a surety bond. This can be done through an insurance agent.  All licensed processors who purchase raw, unprocessed hemp must demonstrate their financial responsibility in the form of a surety bond. 

2018 Farm Bill

10/29/19 11:30 AM Farm Bill Key Points By Philip Brasher :

The Agriculture Department released details of a long-awaited regulatory process for production and transportation of industrial hemp. 

The interim final rule, which fulfills a mandate of the 2018 farm bill, lays out regulations for approval of plans submitted by states and Indian tribes for the domestic production of hemp. 

The rule establishes a federal plan for producers in states or on reservations that won’t have USDA-approved plans. States will no longer be allowed to stop the interstate shipment of hemp that is lawfully produced under the regulations.

However, under the farm bill, states can continue to ban production of the crop within their borders; hemp farming is currently legal in 46.

The rule includes procedures for tracking the land where hemp is grown, testing for concentration levels of THC, the psychoactive compound found in higher amounts in marijuana, and for disposing of non-compliant plants. There also are procedures for sharing information with law enforcement.

The rule will take effect when it is published in the Federal Register later this week. 

USDA sought to “provide a fair, consistent and science-based” regulatory framework for states, tribes and individual producers to follow, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Perdue said the rule is being issued, as promised, in time for the 2020 season. 

“At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” he said. 

Perdue said the testing protocols will “ensure that hemp grown under this program is hemp and nothing else.” Under the farm bill, hemp cannot contain more than 0.3% THC.

In addition to the rule, USDA is releasing guidelines with specific steps for sampling and testing hemp for THC. The guidelines provide information for inspectors and hemp-testing laboratories. 

There will be a 30-day waiting period for USDA to start licensing producers whose states do not have their own regulatory plans. 

Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through whole farm revenue protection. But Bill Northey, USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation programs, said that excessive levels of THC won’t be a covered loss under the whole farm policies. 

Many hemp producers also will be eligible for the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. 

The Farm Service Agency also will offer operating, ownership and on-farm storage loans for next year, Northey said.  An estimated 500,000 acres of hemp were grown this year, but the industry’s future growth is uncertain, said Greg Ibach, USDA’s undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Producers will likely be evaluating their plans based on their experience this year with growing and marketing the crop, he said.


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