The 2018 Farm Bill reclassified hemp, and it is now legal to grow industrial hemp. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has outlined how states and tribes can submit plans that enable producers to grow hemp in those areas. Eligible producers include those growing in accordance with USDA, state, and tribal plans or for research purposes. Learn more by visiting AMS’ Hemp Production webpage.
USDA agencies that administer farm programs — including the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Risk Management Agency (RMA) — benefit hemp producers through crop insurance as well as farm loan, conservation, and safety net programs.
Crop Insurance and Safety Net
RMA's Whole-Farm Revenue Protection and Multi-Peril Crop Insurance coverage and FSA's Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program provides coverage options to eligible producers.
Hemp producers may be eligible for FSA farm loans, such as operating, ownership, beginning farmer, and farm storage facility loans.
Reporting Hemp Acres
Licensed hemp producers are required to report planted acreage along with their license number to their local FSA office. Producers may also be eligible for FSA programs; additional requirements may be required.
Eligible hemp producers are eligible for multiple NRCS conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, and Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
Meanwhile, coverage through Multi-Peril Crop Insurance, or MPCI, is available to producers in certain counties. The pilot insurance program provides Actual Production History coverage for eligible producers in certain counties in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Information on eligible counties is accessible through the USDA Risk Management Agency’s Actuarial Information Browser. Read more in the November 30, 2020 news release.
Producers can now purchase coverage if they have a contract for the purchase of the insured hemp and meet all applicable state, tribal, and federal regulations. Crop insurance provisions state that hemp having THC above the 0.3 compliance level does not constitute an insurable cause of loss. Additionally, hemp does not qualify for replant payments or prevented plant payments.
Beginning with the 2021 crop year, hemp will be insurable under the Nursery crop insurance program and the Nursery Value Select pilot crop insurance program. Under both programs, hemp will be insurable if grown in containers and in accordance with federal regulations, any applicable state or tribal laws, and terms of the crop insurance policy.
To learn about crop insurance options, producers should contact a local insurance agent near them. Visit RMA’s Agent Locator to find an agent near you.
Hemp producers are required to file acreage reports with FSA, which includes these steps:
- Obtain a hemp production license or authorization number issued by USDA, state, or tribe.
- File an acreage report with FSA, including the license or authorization number and identifying each field or subfield where hemp is planted. These fields could be referred to as a “lot” and includes greenhouses.
- Identify the intended use of the reported hemp acreage:
- Fiber – used for cloth, pressed plastics, ropes, animal bedding, paper, biofuel, packaging, concrete additives, spill cleanup.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – grown for extraction of plant resin, which includes CBD and other phytocannabinoids to be extracted from the flower. Subject to FDA regulations, resin may be used in oils, lotions, cleansers, bath or other pharmaceutical or topical products.
- Grain – used for hemp hearts, crushed seed oil (not CBD), protein supplements (human or animal consumption)
- Seed – used for propagation stock, hybrids (non-human consumption)
Producers should contact their local FSA office for more details on acreage reporting.
NRCS Conservation Programs
These NRCS conservation programs are available for producers meeting requirements: the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
Hemp producers growing in accordance with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill of the do not need to modify their conservation program contract for their continued participation.
Hemp Pilot Farms
Before passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, producers could only grow hemp if they met the university research pilot requirements of Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill. Now, producers can grow hemp if they meet those requirements or if they are growing in accordance with an approved State or Tribal hemp production plan.
Learn more about the regulatory status of State and Tribal hemp programs by visiting the AMS Hemp Production webpage.
- December 2, 2021 News Release: USDA Improves, Strengthens Crop Insurance for Hemp Producers
- January 15, 2021 News Release: USDA Publishes Final Rule for the Domestic Production of Hemp (USDA)
- November 30, 2020 News Release: USDA Announces Expansion, Other Improvements to Hemp Crop Insurance
- February 6, 2020 News Release: USDA Announces Details of Risk Management Programs for Hemp Producers (USDA)
- December 23, 2019 News Release: USDA Announces Pilot Insurance Coverage for Hemp Growers (RMA)
- October 29, 2019 News Release: USDA Establishes Domestic Hemp Production Program (USDA)
- August 27, 2019 News Release: Hemp Crop Insurance Coverage Available for 2020 (RMA)