NEBRASKA CITY – The only licensed hemp grower in Otoe County in 2019 reports repeated theft attempts.

Tom Kastens, one of 10 growers licensed by the state, told Otoe County sheriff’s deputies this spring that someone had driven onto his field and removed plants. Plants were also taken later in the growing season and there were also reports of vandalism to machinery.

Sheriff Colin Caudill said his office does not release information about current investigations, but said deputies are reaching out to other other jurisdictions.

Photographs of a pickup truck that were taken in May are of interest in the case. Anyone with information about the vehicle is asked to contact local authorities.

Nebraska has submitted a hemp production plan to the US Department of Agriculture. It requires testing of hemp products to assure that no more than 1 percent of the plant will contain THC that is above limits for industrial hemp.