Last week, the National Agricultural Statistics Service revealed that forms for a survey on hemp farmers to be filled out online or via email were being finalized. This comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture requested permission in July to carry out a survey of hemp farmers.
Hemp has been legal in the United States since it was legalized federally under the 2018 Farm Bill. The large-scale survey will help the USDA to better understand the hemp market, which will allow for better policy making.
The survey will include questions about the secondary and primary uses for hemp, the prices producers can charge, acreage used for operations and plans for the outdoor production of hemp. This is in addition to examining how farmers acquire the clones and seeds they use, the yields they have harvested, whether they plan to extract terpenes or cannabinoids from hemp and if they hand trim the crop they produce. The department is also interested in learning more about seeds, fiber, grain for human consumption, extracts such as CBD and preparations such as smokeable hemp.
In an explanatory document, the USDA stated that the survey’s purpose was to develop state and national estimates of the hemp grown and produced last year, adding that the survey would be carried out every year. The department also revealed that the questionnaires used in the survey would gather data for hemp produced under cover, namely in hoop houses, high or low tunnels, greenhouses and the like, as well as in the open.
The document then explained that crop produced under cover would gather data in four categories, including seed, transplants or clones, flower and other, while crop produced in the open would gather data in five categories, including seed, fiber, grain, flower and other.
The USDA will use the results of the survey to set a benchmark for hemp production and acreage to assist processors, state governments, producers and regulatory agencies, among other central industry entities.
The agency will begin sending reminders and notices to industry operators, including hemp businesses, on Oct. 1, 2021, to encourage them to take part in the survey. The Department of Agriculture estimates that the cumulative time taken to complete the surveys will be roughly 7,530 hours.
Another national survey by the USDA, which is being conducted in partnership with the University of Kentucky and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, is also gathering data from hemp businesses in the country. This data will be used to formulate better approaches for the industry’s regulation.
Hopefully, the data-supported regulatory approaches will ease the operations of sector players such as The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER), which serves a significant number consumers across the country.
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