Hemp crops not insured, farmers lose everything

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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —¬†Hurricane Florence devastated farms to the tune of nearly $2 billion in agricultural losses just in North Carolina. While many of those farmers will get help from insurance, one type of crop in particular cannot be insured.

“As of right now, it might be a wash,” said Brad Adams, a hemp farmer in Bladen County. “I sold everything I had as soon as I found out about the opportunity. I went all in. Everything I had.”

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In his first year of growing, Adams says he has put around $50,000 into this farm. But now, he will walk away with nothing.

Hemp production is legal in North Carolina, but without a new federal farm bill in place, the crop is not yet eligible for crop insurance. Bill Brill is with Folium Biosciences, a Colorado company that makes hemp products.

“Congress is trying to get a completed 2018 farm bill. If they would’ve completed it in August, for example, one of the pieces of language in that farm bill is to provide crop insurance for hemp farmers. So had they passed it in 2018 in August, this farmer would be able to file for crop insurance,” said Brill.



Brill says that out of the 26 East Coast hemp farms he outsources from, this one is one of the worst, at 100% crop loss. Because there is no crop insurance on hemp farms, farmers like this one could risk losing their business forever.

Brill’s company came out to assess the damage and see how much it will lose as a result.

“If insurance was available, I would be on top of it. That would probably be one of the first things I would check into,” said Adams.

Adams says he would consider trying hemp farming again, but he says he has a long year of recovery ahead. He says crop insurance is definitely worth the investment if it’s available.