Pennsylvania's top five industrial hemp growers this year were all in counties bordering Lancaster, according to the state department of agriculture.
This is the first year since 1937 that the crop could be legally grown commercially in Pennsylvania, and the department reported issuing 323 permits statewide, of which Lancaster got 55.
Permits could include multiple growing locations. Ranked by total number of acres of hemp grown, the top five permit-holders in the state are as follows, according to the department. The counties listed are where the hemp was grown.
1. VAE Industrial Hemp Research Program
Jeffrey Brooks: 337 acres in Berks County
2. Star Rock Services
Robert Barley: 284 acres in York County
3. Corey Grove
Corey Grove: 259 acres in York County
4. Rexroth Farms LLC
James Rexroth: 255 acres in York County
5. Seize The Day Industries Inc.
Jeffrey Brooks: 209 acres in Berks County
The department didn’t require applicants to say whether they plan to grow hemp for CBD or the fiber and seeds it has traditionally been used for.
However, local experts have said smaller plots of an acre or so — like many planted in Lancaster County — were generally grown for CBD, while those growing for fiber and seeds tended to plant much larger fields.