He says he only knows of one person in Orangeburg County growing hemp.
“Most everybody I know has quit,” he said. “Nobody is buying biomass.”
Ross says he knows of some growers that still have distillate in storage containers with nowhere to sell it.
“This thing started out and it was like $6,000 a liter,” Fogle said. “Now you are looking to get $400 a liter.”
“The only way I can get a lot of my cost and profit out of it is by doing it myself,” Fogle said. “I take it all the way to retail.”
Fogle said if he had to tell a farmer what to do, he would encourage starting small — no more than an acre.
“Do not exceed your means,” he said, noting that when he started out he spent lots of money on plastic, drip take, water and fertilizer.
But Fogle says in growing this for the past four years, he has learned some tricks of the trade.
He no longer uses plastic but just bare dirt and a plow.
“It loves to be plowed,” he said. “Last year was a bumper crop.”
Fogle also said he keeps moisture under control in the greenhouse.
“If you keep them too wet, they will wilt,” he said.