USDA Data Shows Hemp Acreage Shrinking in Midwest

A recent report authored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that the quantity of hemp being cultivated by farmers in the Great Plains and Midwest region of the country has reduced in comparison to what it was two years prior. However, one research experts sees this reduction as something good.

David Lakeman, head of the department of agriculture in Illinois, says the explosive interest in growing hemp after the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill through which hemp was legalized resulted in the value chain for the plant being overwhelmed. He notes that there was a need to establish entire industries around hemp transportation and hemp processing as well as marketing the products from the plant.

Lakeman adds that the cooling of that huge interest now presents an opportunity for the industry to recover and get established on a firmer footing.

Sarah Stephens, a hemp grower and processor in Kansas, agrees. She says that the stabilization in the cultivation of hemp is going to result in the reaching of a tipping point for the cultivation of hemp. She adds that she has witnessed major improvements in growing techniques, seed breeding, machinery use, row spacing and other agronomic practices.

Stephens attributes these improvements to the completion of the trial-and-error phase within the industry. She also explains that now players in the value chain are more certain about what needs to be done at each stage. Stephens predicts that hemp cultivation will hit the one-million-acre milestone soon as a result of the current stabilization.

Stephens, through her company Tallgrass Hemp and Cannabis, cultivates industrial hemp intended for end uses such as grain, production of fiber, building materials, animal bedding and high-protein food.

It is noteworthy that Kansas bucked the regional trend and saw the overall acreage of hemp increasing. This can be attributed to the fact that farmers such as Stephens focused on industrial hemp. This was unlike many in other Midwest states who grew floral hemp. Floral hemp is the variety from which essential oils such as cannabidiol (“CBD”) are extracted. Stephens says the region is better suited to growing industrial hemp, which is why those interested in floral hemp were disappointed and cut their production.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) data seems to support Stephens. Statistics captured in the report indicate a shift to industrial hemp production by many who initially grew floral hemp. Industrial hemp offers better prospects because there is growing demand for the products that use it, and while profit margins aren’t as high as those from floral hemp, farmers can be sure of steady demand for their crops.

Erica Stark, who heads the National Hemp Association, notes that the upcoming rescheduling of marijuana could have some indirect benefits for the hemp sector. For example, financial institutions may be less hesitant to do business with hemp companies, and individuals who consume hemp products with THC levels exceeding the limit for hemp may face less-serious charges or consequences.

If more entities such as Software Effective Solutions Corp. (d/b/a MedCana) (OTC: SFWJ) enter the market for non-THC cannabis, the prospects of farmers growing floral hemp could rise and possibly match those of farmers growing industrial hemp, not only in the Midwest but around the country.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Software Effective Solutions Corp. (d/b/a MedCana) (OTC: SFWJ) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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