The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants your hemp seeds for a very good reason. With so many different strains of hemp available for farmers, it’s sometimes challenging to get reliable information on what to plant. So, maybe you pick a strain that underperforms. It doesn’t feel like a big deal until you realize how much profit you’ve lost not planting a more ideal set of genetics.
By collecting “superior performing” hemp varieties to test, breed, and develop, the USDA is taking a major step. It will not only improve the quality of hemp plants, but also give farmers the information they need to have the most successful crop possible.
Funded through a grant
The USDA is rounding up high-quality hemp seeds through the Supplemental and Alternative Crops (SAC) competitive grant program. Under this grant, hemp farmers can help build up the USDA’s Hemp Germplasm Repository at Cornell University in Geneva, New York. It’s essentially a living database of hemp seeds that get the job done. Not only that, but it’s the first hemp seed bank in the U.S.
The funding for this grant puts $125,000 per year, for up to four years, toward the program.
The ultimate goal of this information is to help make hemp farming more cost effective. Knowing what seeds perform means you won’t waste time on inferior seeds. It will also help increase competitiveness within the industry, allowing more producers to know what plants will be in demand.
Focused by region
Another positive about this program is its understanding that there’s no one-size-fits-all with hemp. There are so many varieties because hemp can grow in so many different conditions.
The SAC program wants to accelerate the development of superior hemp varieties best adapted to regional conditions across the country. It calls on individuals to look to research networks to establish regional needs. But, don’t forget to consider national priorities too.
Those who wish to apply for a portion of this grant, have until March 30, 2021 to do so.
National recognition for hemp
Programs like this are important for the hemp industry in a lot of ways. The more national organizations to recognize hemp as an important part of our economy, the quicker the stigma around the plant goes away.
Although hemp is now legal to grow, sell, and buy, so many people still confuse hemp with its sister, marijuana. They worry about the safety of using it. Each time the importance of hemp gets validated by organizations like the USDA, the better for the industry as a whole.
This support also helps increase demand for hemp-derived products in a way that’s focused on quality. By banking superior seeds, those who cut corners in their hemp production will no longer cut it. This leaves a stronger spot for growers and processors who do things right, putting the time and care into their hemp.
A processor already keyed in on quality
Like the USDA is beginning to do, Arbor Vita8 has always considered quality a top priority. As a processor, this means we use only the best equipment and safety techniques in our massive facility. As a partner to both farmers and manufacturers, it means providing the highest level of services and resources to create a successful experience all around. Learn more about why you should partner with Arbor Vita8 when it comes to hemp. Contact us today.