Iowa lawmakers to weigh hemp regs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa legislators must create rules to regulate hemp production in the state now that Congress has legalized the crop and farmers are eager to start planting.

Hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana but doesn’t contain THC, the compound that causes a high. Hemp is used in clothing, textiles, building materials, paper and food.

Congress approved hemp production in the 2018 Farm Bill. The Des Moines Register reported that the Iowa attorney general and state agriculture officials will meet this month to discuss state regulations for hemp.

One issue lawmakers may consider is if hemp should be allowed to make cannabidiol. Advocates say CBD can treat anxiety, epilepsy and depression.

While hemp-derived CBD is allowed federally, Iowa’s medical marijuana law doesn’t allow CBD to be processed from industrial hemp.

Tenn. Ag cautions

on dicamba rules

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Agriculture Department is advising soybean and cotton farmers to follow new federal guidelines when applying a weed killer blamed for drifting and damaging crops in neighboring fields.

In a news release, the department said dicamba should only be applied by certified applicators. The guidelines also list times the herbicide can be applied and buffers that must be observed.

In eleven Tennessee counties , additional buffers are required to protect threatened or endangered species. And dicamba cannot be sprayed at all in Wilson County.

In addition to the rules, University of Tennessee weed specialists recommend not spraying dicamba when the temperature is above 85 degrees.

The department also urged beekeepers and farmers growing sensitive crops to register with FieldWatch. Applicators are required to check the directory at www.fieldwatch.com before spraying.

N.D. adds two weeds to noxious list

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota has added two weeds to the state’s list of noxious weeds.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture announced the addition of Palmer amaranth and houndstongue Tuesday.

Palmer amaranth is similar in appearance to waterhemp and was first found in North Dakota last year. The aggressive pigweed species has now been found in five counties .

Houndstongue does not spread aggressively like Palmer amaranth. Houndstongue has been found in North Dakota since at least 1911, but infestations have tripled since 2008. The weed is now found in at least 25 counties.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said noxious weeds cause millions of dollars in damage to North Dakota crops and forage.

Officials urge the public to work with local weed officers and extension agents to identify and report suspect plants.

Rain devastates La. soybeans again

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The trade disputes with China are hurting Louisiana’s soybean farmers at a time when rain during harvest season has also hit them badly, a Republican congressman from the state said, asking the federal government for help.

Many soybean shipments are being sent down the Mississippi River instead of the West Coast, filling storage silos and leaving “little to no space to take in any additional, locally grown crops,” U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham wrote a letter asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to find a way for the USDA to help the farmers.

“Many of my farmers who have grown late soybeans are being told by elevators that unless the soybeans were previously booked or are of uncommonly superior quality, they cannot and will not accept them. ... Farmers must choose between harvesting soybeans with no place to bring them, or letting them rot in the fields,” Abraham wrote.

Louisiana’s soybean acreage this year was about 1 percent of the U.S. total.

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