“Hemp appears to have very good potential. The oil and fiber possibilities long term are intriguing. We want South Carolina to be in the mix."

Off a dusty dirt road in northern Sumter County, an experiment unprecedented in South Carolina is taking place.

In between rows of okra and corn, small hemp plants struggle to stay alive among encroaching weeds in the sandy Midlands soil.

Most are losing the fight. But in one section, 4-foot-tall plants stretch above the weeds, spreading their many fingered leaves to the heavens. And farmer Nat Bradford, famous for his organic collards and watermelons, has begun to nurse these survivors to higher heights.

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Jeff Wilkinson ~ TheState.com