FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky farmers and processors interested in participating in the 2015 round of industrial hemp pilot projects must apply by Jan. 1, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has announced.

"The first round of pilot projects with the universities and individual farmers in 2014 yielded a tremendous amount of data about production methods, seed varieties, harvesting and processing techniques, and uses for the harvested hemp," Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. "We're looking to conduct a wide scope of pilot projects in 2015. When the day comes that commercial hemp production is open to all producers and processors in Kentucky, we want to be ready."

A physical address of the location for the production fields to be used to grow, process, or store industrial hemp must be submitted with the application. Applicants are asked to provide global positioning coordinates for the property if possible. Applicants who are selected will undergo background checks and site visits.

A person with a felony drug conviction within 10 years of submitting an application shall not be eligible to participate in any pilot project.

Applications also may be printed, filled out, and mailed to Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Industrial Hemp Program, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, Ky. 40601.

Applicants may attach a business plan or other supporting documents. Applications expire Dec. 31, 2015. Successful applicants will be notified in late January.

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