Hemp farmers careful with crop after three barn fires

APPLEGATE VALLEY, Ore. – Another hemp drying barn went up in flames Sunday, which is the third in a week. This has local farmers being careful with their crop.

Hemp farmers say safety is their number one concern and they have protocols in place to prevent fires. While the causes for the three recent fires are unknown, some hemp farmers suspect the drying process was rushed. Due to the wet weather, it has taken longer to dry the product this year.

“I suspect some people are using a lot of heat and some of those sources of heat might not be the safest sources, but people are trying to dry as much as they can, so that they can go out and harvest more,” Mark Wisnovsky, partner at Third Generation Farms, said.

Third Generation Farms sends much of its hemp to a kiln in the Applegate, who has extensive experience in drying the product. The rest, it hangs to dry with fans and dehumidifiers, which is a much slower process.

With hemp now legal at the federal level, the crop can be insured. No word is it was, in any of the recent fires.

Anna Weeks is the anchor of NBC5 News at 5 and 11 and Your Place @7 with Anna Weeks. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Originally from the Portland area, Anna loves exploring Southern Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and watching sports.
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