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Kentuckiana agriculture news

Savoring Kentucky appreciates the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at all times, and particularly this week. On February 11, In the Institute's excellent blog, Al Cross and Martha Groppo covered two particularly important stories about agriculture in Kentucky and Indiana.

Al Cross described progress in the Kentucky legislature toward commercial scale industrial hemp production in Kentucky: "Ky. legislative panel advances bill to allow, regulate industrial hemp crops if feds grant state a waiver."

The Kentucky bill’s advocates hope to make the state a test bed for the return to the U.S. of commercial hemp, which [Former CIA director James] Woolsey said is legal in 35 industrialized Western nations, including Canada. ‘We cannot find one that has had a problem distinguishing industrial hemp from marijuana,’ Woolsey told the Senate Agriculture Committee. He said he is a member of the North American Industrial Hemp Council ‘basically because of my interest in prosperity for rural America.’
Farmland in Wayne County, Kentucky

Farmland in Wayne County, Kentucky

Martha Groppo reports on a Washington Post story by Robert Barnes describing a 75-year old Indiana farmer's legal fight against Monsanto. The United States Supreme Court is now considering the case: Farmer's use of genetically modified soybeans grows into Supreme Court case.

What Bowman did was to take commodity grain from the local elevator, which is usually used for feed, and plant it. But that grain was mostly progeny of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready beans because that’s what most Indiana soybean farmers grow. Those soybeans are genetically modified to survive the weedkiller Roundup, and Monsanto claims that Bowman’s planting violated the company’s restrictions.

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