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Meet Legacy Hemp Agronomist Bryan Parr

Photo courtesy of Legacy Hemp

Legacy Hemp agronomist Bryan Parr

Bryan Parr is a fourth-generation dairy farmer near La Farge, Wis. Parr has a bachelor’s degree in crop and soil science from UW-Platteville. As an agronomist for Minnesota-based company Legacy Hemp, he educates farmers in all aspects of industrial hemp production for grain and fiber through educational materials, presentations and conferences.

In 2019, Legacy Hemp contracted with farmers in six states, including a couple in Wisconsin, to grow grain and fiber crops or small test crops. Parr recently shared some observations on the challenges and the supply and demand of growing hemp for both industrial grain and cannabidiol (CBD) in Wisconsin.

When asked about the biggest challenges of growing industrial hemp in Wisconsin, Parr doesn’t hesitate. “This crop—whether growing it for grain or fiber or CBD—does not like wet weather,” he says. “That’s unfortunate, because for the two years that we’ve been able to grow this crop in Wisconsin, that’s the type of weather we’ve had to deal with. It’s difficult for farmers, because they cannot get their work done on time, and it created additional challenges such as weeds and diseases.”

Parr adds that CBD crops fared slightly better. I grew a crop for CBD on my own farm, and I’d absolutely agree that wet weather was a problem for CBD farmers, as well. The impact on CBD is less than on industrial grain; however, a lot of farmers still had to deal with disease and moldy flowers.” He emphasizes that hemp seeds are very delicate, and if wet weather patterns and heavier rains continue, it will be one of the biggest challenges Wisconsin’s hemp famers will face.

Hemp Not Necessarily a Savior

The majority of farmers growing industrial hemp in Wisconsin want to grow it for CBD and not for industrial grain, Parr observes. “We’re already being oversupplied with CBD. At the Farm Bureau meeting a couple of weeks ago, 10 farmers who were growing hemp for CBD came to our booth. Every single person that we talked to has not sold a single pound of their crop yet, because they cannot find a buyer. We are extremely oversaturated with hemp biomass for CBD.”

Might some farmers try hemp fiber and grain instead? “I’m not convinced that farmers growing for CBD will make the transition and grow for grain or fiber. We’re seeing such an interest in farmers wanting to grow CBD because it’s so close to growing marijuana; there’s virtually zero differentiation in growing a plant for CBD versus for a marijuana crop. The only differentiation is by a laboratory test that says that crop is below 0.3% THC,” he explains. “I think some farmers are gearing up for when marijuana is going to be state or federally legal, so they can have the knowledge to jump into that market once it’s available.”

Regarding surplus, Parr also notes that many farmers had the idea that, if they got on the hemp bandwagon first, they would be the ones who would make money. “We have to remember that there were other states that got on that bandwagon first. Wisconsin wasn’t able to grow until 2018—four years after the 2014 federal farm bill allowed that to happen. Farmers in other states have already established a market for this demand.”

He also affirms that there are currently no mechanisms in place to regulate hemp supply and demand. “Every place I go to speak, there’s always a group of new farmers wanting to grow CBD. I think we need to step back and think about this and where this crop is concerned, whether it’s for CBD, grain or fiber. It’s unfortunate that legalization of this crop is coinciding with some of the worst economic times farmers have ever had. A lot of farmers, out of desperation, are looking at hemp to be their savior. There is a growing demand, but it’s far too easy for farmers throughout the country to oversupply,” he concludes. “Overall, I’m very optimistic of the hemp industry, both industrial and CBD, but there’s a lot of risk out there we just don’t know about yet.”

Sheila Julson

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer who enjoys capturing the stories behind Milwaukee’s happening food, beverage and urban farming scenes. She also pens articles about holistic health, green living, sustainability and human-interest features.

Agronomist Bryan Parr educates farmers in all aspects of industrial hemp production for grain and fiber through educational materials, presentations and conferences.

We grow the Legacy of Industrial Hemp.

Providing the infrastructure to bring hemp into New, Established, and Developing Hemp Markets.

We grow the Legacy of Industrial Hemp.

Providing the infrastructure to bring hemp into New, Established, and Developing Hemp Markets.

Legacy Hemp Seed Harvest 2019 with Sproule Farms

Thank you to Paul and the rest of his team at Sproule Farms, along with Mike Zabel at Zabel Seed for their hard work and determination harvesting over 1,000 acres of our AOSCA certified X-59 hemp seed crop. X-59 is our current and preferred dual-use-hemp cultivar for dual harvest of both industrial hemp grain and fiber production in a single crop.

Seed orders begin now.

Seed WILL sell out fast. So get your order in quickly here:

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Calling All Farmers Interested in Growing Industrial Hemp!

Legacy Hemp will be accepting applications for contracted production with farmers to grow industrial hemp. We are working to establish receiving centers for hemp grain, but if you are a farmer with the ability to dry and store your own grain, we especially urge you to apply. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to be a part of the new legacy of industrial hemp.

Apply to farm Industrial Hemp with us now!

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Who are we?

Industrial hemp’s variety and usefulness as a sustainable resource is a green addition to and a superior alternative to thousands of current market products.

Legacy Hemp, LLC had been a forerunner in the American industrial hemp industry since the resurgence of a newly re-legalized, historical crop. Our affiliates have been playing key roles across multiple industries to push legislation in favor of industrial hemp once again. Even before the passing of the 2014 Federal Farm bill, which began the process of lifting the ban on industrial hemp, our team has understood the potential for hemp with so many uses. Legacy Hemp founder, Ken Anderson, has seen the potential first hand and has been working with hemp since 2009, utilizing hemp based products to produce sustainable affordable, building material, food products, and as alternatives to a variety of other non-renewable products. Ken has since worked tirelessly to provide these miraculous benefits back to the consumers of the United States and across the world. The industrial hemp industry is here to stay in America. Legacy Hemp grows the legacy of industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp has the capacity to be used in in a wide array of industries ranging from food products and medicine to textiles, electronics, and construction material and more. With the sweet nutty flavor of X-59 (hempnut), industrial hemp grain has risen far above affiliation to its cannabis cousin to become a true super food. With large potential to use materials derived from hemp to be used in many markets, Legacy Hemp secures it stand in praising industrial hemp for the benefits of mankind by starting to pick the low hanging fruits, the grains, which keep us so very healthy. With consistently increasing amounts of research and development going into the industrial hemp industry, more and more uses for the fiber of hemp plant are revealed as well. Legacy Hemp, LLC leads the new American hemp industry into success, by not only considering domestic success and tranquility, but by also contributing to global aspirations by providing an avenue for green and sustainable resources for generations to come.

Legacy Hemp stands to show that hemp grain alone is profitable. Much like other crops, the industrial hemp plant produces edible grains which farmers can grow and sell organically or conventionally to produce many derived food and non-food products. However, hemp grain is no mere cereal grain, it is a super-food because of its near ideal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as boasting a superb protein content. Legacy Hemp’s hemp cultivar X-59 can be grown organically without the need of pesticides or herbicides to provide hearty and Earth friendly food to animals and humankind alike. Legacy hemp partners with numerous food suppliers to provide the sweet and nutty flavor of X-59, hempnut, hemp grain around the world.

We provide certified industrial hemp seed for farmers to produce hemp grain for our customers. Our hemp germ produces grain with plant and human health in mind.