AbstractIn 2018, the U.S. Farm bill legalized cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States, delegating regulation and enforcement to the individual states (USDA-AMS, 2021). In the state of Arizona, the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA), issues production licenses and regulates the production and processing of industrial hemp, maintaining records of every planting in the state (AZDA, 2021). The first year growing permits were issued to the public was in 2019 and 5,430 acres of hemp were planted in the state the same year. Statewide, only 72% of planting acres were inspected by the AZDA at harvest, as illustrated in Table 1 (AZDA, 2020), indicating a high rate of crop termination before inspection. Of the inspected acres, 25% produced psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in excess of legal compliance limits, resulting in mandatory crop destruction of 20% of inspected acres. In total, the hemp growers of Arizona suffered a 42% crop loss at the end of the 2019 season. It is the purpose of this paper to formally summarize production considerations of this crop when it is grown in the arid desert southwest climate of Arizona, with particular emphasis on the commercial production systems of Yuma County, Arizona.
Series/Report no.University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Publication AZ1944
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