Industrial hemp new star crop in Montana agriculture - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Industrial hemp new star crop in Montana agriculture

Posted: Updated:

"It has taken 17 years to finally get our first crop in the ground."

In 2001, industrial hemp became legal to grow in Montana. And considering it's one of the fastest growing crops around, it's amazing how long it took to actually be planted in Montana soil.

"We have about six hundred miles that we share with our Canadian neighbors, and they're making good money on industrial hemp, whereas Montana's making not one penny," says Chris Christiaens, lobbyist for Montana Farmers Union. 

The new industry is thanks mostly to Chris, who, although it's been 17 years,  continues to lobby for Montana farmers; in fact he's so busy, the only time our reporter could get an interview with him was on the road. 

"He said, oh Chris, he said this bill goes way too far, he said you'll never get this passed," Chris remarked, as he told the story of trying to pass legislation for industrial hemp. 

Senate Bill 261 did pass, with zero amendments. And Chris says the possibilities for industrial hemp uses are almost endless.

"Bedding plant...Mortar...Road building, bridge decks...Oil seed, all cosmetics," That list goes on. 

So why did it take Montana so long to catch on? Chris says the reason is misconceptions over it's "cannabinoid" status. 

According to the North American Industrial Hemp Council, industrial hemp has a THC content of between 0.05 and 1%.

"You could smoke a truckload and get sick before you ever got any feeling of marijuana from it."

Chad Doheny is a pulse crop farmer just north of Dutton. He went so far as to get the license to grow industrial hemp, but decided at the last minute the risks were too great. 

"There's just not enough info or consistency in what people say about it yet. I talked to insurance companies who weren't certain at all if they would insure you if you had hemp...it seems like a real easy way to lose your farm."

But now, ten different farmers in Montana are growing hemp, and so far, they report the crop is looking incredible. Chris isn't surprised, and is already looking towards the future. 

"As we see small town, rural Montana getting smaller all the time, we need to be thinking about other uses of diverse crops that can allow these small towns and the people who live in these communities to survive."

Harvesting season for Montana's hemp crop will be any day now. In Canada they tend to harvest their hemp in late September, and Chris says we usually run about a month or two ahead of them. 

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police report: Man tells victim "I'll strangle you right in front of them"

    Police report: Man tells victim "I'll strangle you right in front of them"

    Friday, November 17 2017 3:01 PM EST2017-11-17 20:01:02 GMT

    One man accused of strangling a woman made his initial court appearance today in Great Falls. 

    One man accused of strangling a woman made his initial court appearance today in Great Falls. 

  • Woman accused of stealing $4,000 by faking returns to store

    Woman accused of stealing $4,000 by faking returns to store

    Thursday, November 16 2017 8:14 PM EST2017-11-17 01:14:26 GMT

    A woman is accused of stealing approximately $4,000 by faking returns at Sears Home Store. On November 15th, Great Falls Police Officers were dispatched to Sears Home Store for an embezzlement complaint. When police arrived, they contacted a Sears employee who reported a number of fraudulent returns to the store. According to charging documents, Sears loss prevention had discovered seven items had been returned to the store that had never been sold at any Sears Store with t...

    A woman is accused of stealing approximately $4,000 by faking returns at Sears Home Store. On November 15th, Great Falls Police Officers were dispatched to Sears Home Store for an embezzlement complaint. When police arrived, they contacted a Sears employee who reported a number of fraudulent returns to the store. According to charging documents, Sears loss prevention had discovered seven items had been returned to the store that had never been sold at any Sears Store with t...

  • UPDATE: Two hunters found in "good health and happy"

    UPDATE: Two hunters found in "good health and happy"

    Saturday, November 18 2017 12:21 AM EST2017-11-18 05:21:19 GMT

    According to the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Facebook page, at least one hunter has gone missing in the Lincoln area.  The Sheriff's Office is working with the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department and Search and Rescue Crews to help locate the hunter.  We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

    According to the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Facebook page, at least one hunter has gone missing in the Lincoln area.  The Sheriff's Office is working with the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department and Search and Rescue Crews to help locate the hunter.  We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

  • Court documents: 35 time offender tried to headbutt officers

    Court documents: 35 time offender tried to headbutt officers

    Thursday, November 16 2017 6:06 PM EST2017-11-16 23:06:39 GMT

    One man is facing charges after allegedly attempting to headbutt officers while being put under arrest. 

    One man is facing charges after allegedly attempting to headbutt officers while being put under arrest. 

  • Montana congressman misled investigators in assault case

    Montana congressman misled investigators in assault case

    Friday, November 17 2017 8:01 PM EST2017-11-18 01:01:48 GMT

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Law enforcement officials in Montana have released a trove of materials from their investigation into a Republican House candidate who assaulted a reporter on the eve of his election to the U.S. House.   

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Law enforcement officials in Montana have released a trove of materials from their investigation into a Republican House candidate who assaulted a reporter on the eve of his election to the U.S. House.   

  • Update: Woman who died in Vaughn shooting identified

    Update: Woman who died in Vaughn shooting identified

    Monday, November 6 2017 3:44 PM EST2017-11-06 20:44:29 GMT

    Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards has confirmed with KFBB that one person is dead from a gunshot wound.  

    Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards has confirmed with KFBB that one person is dead from a gunshot wound.  

  • Man sentenced to 60 years for Felony Sexual Assault

    Man sentenced to 60 years for Felony Sexual Assault

    Wednesday, November 8 2017 8:33 PM EST2017-11-09 01:33:35 GMT

    Matthew Paul Thiebert was sentenced Wednesday, in Judge Pinski's court to 60 years for Felony Sexual Assault. 

    Matthew Paul Thiebert was sentenced Wednesday, in Judge Pinski's court to 60 years for Felony Sexual Assault. 

  • The Latest: California shooter fired 'without provocation'

    The Latest: California shooter fired 'without provocation'

    Tuesday, November 14 2017 5:59 PM EST2017-11-14 22:59:17 GMT

    RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) - At least 10 children and adults have been hospitalized after a series of shootings in rural Northern California that left five dead, including the gunman.

    RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) - At least 10 children and adults have been hospitalized after a series of shootings in rural Northern California that left five dead, including the gunman.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Results from mule deer care positive for chronic wasting disease

    Results from mule deer care positive for chronic wasting disease

    Wednesday, November 15 2017 8:07 PM EST2017-11-16 01:07:53 GMT

    Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks says a second mule deer buck from hunting district 510 was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease.

    Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks says a second mule deer buck from hunting district 510 was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease.

  • Invest in Something Special campaign

    Invest in Something Special campaign

    Tuesday, November 14 2017 9:24 PM EST2017-11-15 02:24:24 GMT

    Special Olympics Montana is teaming up with Voya for a social media campaign to raise money for Special Olympics athletes. 

    Special Olympics Montana is teaming up with Voya for a social media campaign to raise money for Special Olympics athletes. 

  • The Latest: California shooter fired 'without provocation'

    The Latest: California shooter fired 'without provocation'

    Tuesday, November 14 2017 5:59 PM EST2017-11-14 22:59:17 GMT

    RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) - At least 10 children and adults have been hospitalized after a series of shootings in rural Northern California that left five dead, including the gunman.

    RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) - At least 10 children and adults have been hospitalized after a series of shootings in rural Northern California that left five dead, including the gunman.

  • The Latest: Pence says US to offer support after shooting

    The Latest: Pence says US to offer support after shooting

    Tuesday, November 14 2017 5:40 PM EST2017-11-14 22:40:56 GMT

    RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say three people have been killed in shootings at multiple locations in rural Northern California, and the shooter has been killed by law enforcement. Students also were shot and wounded at an elementary school.

    RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say three people have been killed in shootings at multiple locations in rural Northern California, and the shooter has been killed by law enforcement. Students also were shot and wounded at an elementary school.

  • Crash kills 21 year old on Hi-Line

    Crash kills 21 year old on Hi-Line

    Tuesday, November 14 2017 4:07 PM EST2017-11-14 21:07:59 GMT

    The Montana Highway Patrol says one person has died in a 2 vehicle crash in Roosevelt County.  MHP says the crash occurred about 1 p.m. Monday on U.S. 2 near Bainville, just west of the North Dakota border. Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office confirmed 21-year old David Manning of Culbertson, rear-ended another vehicle and died of blunt force trauma.  The driver of the rear-ended was stopped on US 2 waiting to turn onto Highway 405.  MHP says that driver w...

    The Montana Highway Patrol says one person has died in a 2 vehicle crash in Roosevelt County.  MHP says the crash occurred about 1 p.m. Monday on U.S. 2 near Bainville, just west of the North Dakota border. Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office confirmed 21-year old David Manning of Culbertson, rear-ended another vehicle and died of blunt force trauma.  The driver of the rear-ended was stopped on US 2 waiting to turn onto Highway 405.  MHP says that driver w...

  • Man who allegedly injured 3 officers makes initial court appearance

    Man who allegedly injured 3 officers makes initial court appearance

    Monday, November 13 2017 2:54 PM EST2017-11-13 19:54:41 GMT

    The man who allegedly assaulted three police officers last week has made his initial appearance in court today.

    The man who allegedly assaulted three police officers last week has made his initial appearance in court today.

  • Light The Trail completes cross country trip following Lewis and Clark Path

    Monday, November 13 2017 1:19 PM EST2017-11-13 18:19:05 GMT

    The Light the Trail Ride, a group raising suicide and mental health awareness made a stop in Great Falls as they biked their way across the country following the path Lewis and Clark made. and this weekend they reached Washington D.C. after 2 and a half months of biking. 

    The Light the Trail Ride, a group raising suicide and mental health awareness made a stop in Great Falls as they biked their way across the country following the path Lewis and Clark made. and this weekend they reached Washington D.C. after 2 and a half months of biking. 

  • Do you knit or crochet? Newborns need tiny hats!

    Do you knit or crochet? Newborns need tiny hats!

    Monday, November 13 2017 10:53 AM EST2017-11-13 15:53:02 GMT
    Special little heads are going to need tiny hats to keep them warm come February. The American Heart Association is putting out a call for knitters and crocheters for their "Little Hats, Big Hearts" program.  It gives thousands of hats to newborn babies during February, American Heart Month.  The AHA is asking volunteers to make red hats that are red, cotton or acrylic, medium to heavy weight yarn and are machine washable and dryable. The simpler the pattern the...
    Special little heads are going to need tiny hats to keep them warm come February. The American Heart Association is putting out a call for knitters and crocheters for their "Little Hats, Big Hearts" program.  It gives thousands of hats to newborn babies during February, American Heart Month.  The AHA is asking volunteers to make red hats that are red, cotton or acrylic, medium to heavy weight yarn and are machine washable and dryable. The simpler the pattern the...
Powered by Frankly

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.