The USDA announced last week that it would be teaming up with Cornell University to hold a webinar series that promoted hemp education. According to a press release, the series will feature experts in hemp production, research and academia as well as the private industry.
The first episode, which was held last week, focused on outdoor growing of hemp. The next episode will look into the indoor cultivation of hemp. Other topics to be discussed over the next couple of months include the economics of hemp production, the endocannabinoid system, genetics, food sciences, hemp extraction and hemp processing.
Zachary Stansell, the acting hemp curator in the Department of Agriculture, stated that the department’s Agricultural Research Service (“ARS”) dealt with agricultural challenges which affected all Americans. Stansell explained that hemp was emerging as an economically significant and multiuse crop, which was why the series was designed to increase the inclusivity, equity and diversity of the ARS’ mission while offering hemp-specific training, education and networking opportunities to communities that had historically been underserved.
For every event, experts will discuss the topic in question for about 40 minutes, after which participants will be allowed to ask questions. This partnership announcement comes after the USDA revealed that it was taking necessary action to improve insurance policies for businesses dealing with hemp in an attempt to make them more flexible.
Since hemp was legalized under the 2018 farm bill, the department has sought input from stakeholders as the industry grows in addition to taking some steps to align insurance policies of hemp with those of other lawful plants. For instance, the USDA made it possible for hemp cultivators to quality for Multi-Peril Crop Insurance in 2020, in addition to a couple of other coverage programs for which the plant is now eligible.
The USDA also launched a large-scale survey for hemp farmers as part of its overall outreach to gain insight into the current hemp market. The response forms for this survey, which began in August, can be filled out online or via mail.
In the survey, the department asks questions about the primary and secondary uses of hemp, acreage needed for operations, outdoor hemp production plans and prices producers usually bring in. The department’s main areas of interest include extracts such as CBD, smokable hemp, the plant’s seeds and fiber and grain for human consumption.
The survey is being completed in partnership with the University of Kentucky and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Hopefully, the USDA will use the information collected to pass regulations that give sector actors such as Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) an improved environment within which to do what they do best.
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