Hemp farmers in the Western states are frantically harvesting their crops ahead of an early-season storm threatening cold temperatures and severe wind chill, potentially dumping as much as 50 inches of snow on their fields.
Jamie Fitterer, the owner of Montana Hemp Co., said farmers in Bozeman and around the state are “freaking out,” about the winter storm and its potential damage to their crops.
“Everybody is in triage,” Fitterer said, on his way to pick up industrial heaters.
Fitterer said farmers in his area had just started to harvest their 2019 crops and stage drying areas. But when they heard about the winter storm watch on Wednesday, the priority switched to getting the crops off the field and getting it into dry areas as quickly as possible.
“Our partners and field crews have been going gangbusters,” Fitterer said.
“We’re pulling volunteers and cutting as much as we can, but with storage full, we can’t stage for drying and it looks like we’re just going to get what we get this season.”
The National Weather Service reported the snowstorm will be severe for Western Montana and could break snowfall records for September with gusty winds near 50 mph, creating near-zero visibility and blizzard-like conditions.