JEFFERSON CITY – Senator Justin Brown, R-Rolla, announces the Missouri Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for Missouri Industrial Hemp Fiber Grants, which are intended to help producers of industrial hemp increase capacity.

Industrial hemp is used for a variety of products, including paper, textiles, construction materials, fuel, culinary oils and body care products. Once a major agricultural crop in Missouri, production of industrial hemp ceased during the 20th century due to concerns about illicit use of marijuana, a plant cousin to hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production on the federal level, and Missouri established an industrial hemp program the same year. Production of industrial hemp is tightly regulated to ensure the product does not contain THC, the drug component of marijuana.

“This long-neglected plant offers great potential as a value-added commodity for Missouri agricultural producers,” said Sen. Justin Brown, who supported the Industrial Hemp Grant Program as a member of the Senate Appropriations and Agriculture committees. “The Department of Agriculture’s hemp grant program will help provide the resources farmers need to expand their production of this exciting crop.”

In May, the Missouri Legislature appropriated $700,000 in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget to fund the grant program. Applicants must be based in Missouri and a 25% cash match is required. Eligible expenses are limited to equipment used for processing industrial hemp fiber and direct costs for the installation of such equipment.

The deadline for grant applications is Oct. 22, 2021, and grants will be awarded on or before Nov. 8, 2021. Expenses must be incurred between the date of award and March 1, 2022. For more information, visit www.agriculture.mo.gov/abd/financial/industrial-hemp-fiber.php, or call the Department of Agriculture at 573-751-4211.

For more information about Sen. Brown, visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown.

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