U.S. farmers are planting less hemp than they did last year due to regulatory uncertainty, a surplus of hemp flower and biomass held over from 2019 and continuously falling wholesale prices.
As of Thursday, licensed total hemp acreage to date has reached 465,787 acres for the 2020 production season, with 47 state departments of agriculture reporting numbers to Hemp Industry Daily.
The 2020 licensed acreage is a 9% decrease, compared to 511,442 total licensed acres of hemp across 34 states in 2019, which was more than quadruple the number of acres licensed from 2018, industry advocacy group Vote Hemp reported last fall.
Hemp production acreage in 2020 was projected by many industry insiders to decrease for the first time since 2014, when the 2014 Farm Bill established hemp pilot research programs nationwide.
Even with new hemp states coming online after passing hemp production legislation in 2019 and gaining USDA approval for their state plans, overall acreage numbers to date are down from last year.
For more details on the licensed acreage by state, download this PDF.