SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. - (KNEP) - The public got a chance to check out Western Farm and the hemp plants Thursday night.
Western Farm held an open house Thursday to educate the public on what they are working on to get Scottsbluff in the forefront of the hemp industry. One of the five owners, P.J. Hoehn said they got plants into the greenhouse October 15th.
All the plants are female but the owners are working on getting 50 of them to express their male chromosome to allow for pollenization.
They got into the hemp industry after visiting and touring a similar farm in Minnesota. They saw the community up north getting involved and thought this was needed in Western Nebraska.
After doing some research they became excited about the seed production. Hoehn believes the area is lacking a credible trustworthy seed source and thinks Western Farms can provide that.
Hoehn added the community has shown excitement and support. They have even gotten about ten calls from people wanting to work for them. They hope this breeds life into other industries such as fiber production and biodegradable plastics.
It’s no secret Nebraska has seen a tough harvest season with various storms, but Hoehn said the hemp industry can help mitigate those risks. He detailed they planted an acre near Mitchell and during the October hailstorms, Hoehn thought the crop was gone. To his surprise the plants flourished.
They are also treating the plants and trimming them to get them thicker. Their water usage is lower than sugar beets and corn and the insect and disease pressure is very resilient.
Hoehn and the rest of the owners look at this plant as another crop and know that there are over 120 different cannabidoils inside. They are hoping to educate others on the potential this plant has for various industries.
Residents may see the greenhouse glow at night and that is because the plant is sensitive to photosynthesis and they are working to mirror the summer solstice until pollenization.
They are also differentiating themselves by adding a clay coat to the seed to maximize germination. This is help the seeds absorb more water and mitigate the risk of drying out during droughts.
If you missed the open house, they are willing to create a scheduled tour and will have retail coming soon in the front of the facility.