In descending order, by date published.
Maple syrup is made by processing (boiling) tree sap. Sap may be processed from all maple tree species; the highest sugar content usually occurs in sugar maple and black maple sap. Maple sugaring may occur wherever late winter temperatures permit sap collection, ideally when nighttimes are below freezing and daytime highs do not exceed 45F. Kentucky is among the southernmost states for commercial maple syrup production.
Industrial hemp was widely grown in the United States from the Colonial Period until the mid-1800s. During that time, Kentucky established itself as the leading hemp producer in the U.S. After the Civil War, hemp production declined in Kentucky, as well as in other areas of the country. Production temporarily resumed as part of the war effort during World War II. However, once the war was over, acreages dwindled until U.S. production ended in 1958. However, the last couple of decades have brought a renewed interest in commercial hemp as an alternative or supplementary crop. As the pro-hemp movement has spread, a number of states, including Kentucky, have passed laws favoring its production, generally in connection with scientific, economic, and environmental research studies.
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a versatile plant that can be grown for its fiber, seed, or oil. Hemp fields were once a common sight in Kentucky during the state's prominence as the leading hemp producer in the U.S. Although commercial hemp production ceased throughout North America in the late 1950s, there is currently renewed interest in growing this crop. While hemp faces significant legal obstacles due to its close relationship to the marijuana plant, there are a number of states, including Kentucky, working toward reviving the hemp industry. Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the federal farm bill) authorized state departments of agriculture in states that have legalized hemp, including Kentucky, to develop pilot programs for industrial hemp research. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has been working with universities, farmers and processors around the state since 2014 to implement pilot programs.