By: Journal Record Staff July 11, 2018

EL RENO – Oklahoma City-based Botanac has agreed to provide seeds for Redlands Community College’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program.

Redlands will be working with farmers across the state to grow hemp.

Redlands in El Reno is working with Botanac to implement a project protocol that will result in research and a better understanding of how to successfully cultivate industrial hemp crops. Botanac is providing seeds to farmers in different regions of the state to produce hemp fiber, grain and cannabidiol, or CBD.

Redlands’ faculty will be working with students to study the science and agriculture associated with a crop that hasn’t been farmed in Oklahoma in several generations.

“This pilot project has generated a significant interest from many Oklahoma farmers, and we’re looking forward to working with them to help produce diversified crops throughout the state,” said Redlands President Jack Bryant. “With our faculty’s extensive experience studying soil, water and growing methods, we are thrilled to use our resources and knowledge along with Botanac’s understanding of industrial hemp to help increase the viability of family farms.”

Redlands and Botanac are targeting approximately 1,000 acres during the first year, including indoor and outdoor sites and both irrigated and non-irrigated land. Redlands faculty members and students will be evaluating the growing conditions of each site to help understand the conditions necessary to produce viable hemp fiber, grain and CBD.

“Coming from a farming family, I am excited to be a part of a project that has the potential to be a major boost to the agriculture industry in our state,” said Tina Walker, manager of Botanac. “We appreciate the investment Redlands and our strong network of farmers are making in cultivating industrial hemp.”

In April, Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2913, creating the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program under the management of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.