Winchester, Ky. – Atalo Holdings, Inc., a diversified industrial hemp research and production company in Winchester, Ky., announced a $2,000,000 payout to their Growers’ Group for the 2016 harvest. “We are pleased to announce payments of $2,000,000 to our growers for hemp grain and CBD production in 2016,” said Atalo Chairman Andrew Graves. “This represents a solid step forward in hemp research and development and offers the potential for positive rural economic development in 2017.”
Ben Furnish is a grain and tobacco farmer who participated in the Atalo Growers’ Group. “This was a good year for our hemp grain. Much better than last year with an all around good yield. Atalo’s proprietary seed proved to be an improvement, the crop fit in well with our soy bean program and the return on investment was a little better than corn,” said Furnish. Hemp-based foods have emerged as “superfoods” in the health and wellness food category in North American and European markets with a projected compounded annual growth rate of 20% through 2020. This is good news for Kentucky farmers. “Hemp is a unique plant, with so many uses, from fiber to protein, oils and CBD. These multiple uses should make revenue from hemp comparable with tobacco,” Furnish said.
Dave Spalding is the Growers’ representative for Atalo Holdings. According to Spalding, “In 2016, we had 58 growers and 2,466 acres approved for hemp production, making us one of the largest permitted hemp companies in the US. At our Hemp Research Campus, the mission is to provide leadership and value through research, development and commercialization of industrial hemp. For this harvest, 410 acres were for CBD, which we are processing, and 755 acres were for grain and seed replication. Hemp is demonstrating great potential as a sustainable source of quality agricultural protein and gross returns from CBD production appear to be at least comparable to if not better than gross returns from tobacco on a per acre basis.”
Robert Eads is a tobacco farmer who sees hemp as a potential alternative crop. “I had a very good year and an excellent return on investment in Atalo’s CBD program,” said Eads. “They helped me with seed selection, planting methods, harvesting and drying. All in all I’d say next year’s CBD crop will be accomplished with my existing tobacco equipment. With that kind of return on investment, I’m looking forward to next year and an opportunity for improved seed, planting, harvesting and drying techniques. We’re all learning and the market looks promising.”
Atalo CEO, William Hilliard, says the market is expanding rapidly. “According to Hemp Business Journal, dispensary sales of CBD products will grow to $1.6 billion in sales by 2020 and SPINS, a leading provider of retail consumer insights, analytics reporting for the Natural, Organic, and Specialty Products Industry, tracked $1,344,646 in sales of products containing CBD as a primary ingredient in the Natural and Specialty Retail channel over the 52-week period ending Aug. 7, 2016.”
“The Hemp Business Journal also estimates that total sales of CBD products in the pet supplement channel will be just shy of $7 million in 2016 and account for about 6 percent of hemp-based CBD product sales.”
These economic indicators coupled with the 2016 harvest results give us strong momentum going into the 2017 season, Hilliard said.”
Atalo Holdings, Inc. and subsidiary companies Super Food Processing, KentuckyCBD and Kentucky Hemp Seed R&D operate the Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, Kentucky.