Struggling farmers who bet everything on hemp this year experiencing bitter harvest

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For many first-time hemp farmers, 2019 is being written off as an expensive learning experience that they can apply to future crops.

But for farmers who grew hemp this season in a Hail Mary attempt to make up profits lost from decreasing prices for row crops, dairy and livestock – and, in many cases, to save their family farms – the stakes could not have been much higher.

The seriousness of the situation for struggling growers this season was realized when industry members reported that some farmers had ended their lives over lost hemp crops.

Darrel Kolb, who owns Trego, Montana-based Old Hemp Co., said he knew one of the farmers who died.