USDA survey aims to add data to national profile of hemp industry

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has indicated its intention to add to the body of knowledge about the hemp industry with a survey of 20,000 farmers and other hemp stakeholders.

USDA said it will carry out a “Hemp Acreage and Production Survey,” presumably to complement a separate survey still underway among hemp businesses.

The farm agency notified the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of its intentions to conduct the survey earlier this year. It is now requesting White House permission to realize the research, according to a notice posted in the Federal Register this week.

USDA said it has met with representatives of several agencies to determine what data needs to be collected, and how frequently. Those include USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Economic Research Service (ERS), the Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

USDA is currently seeking public comment on how to most effectively administer the survey.

Second survey

USDA is meanwhile working on a separate national survey among 18,000 hemp businesses regarding production practices and costs, and marketing of hemp products, in partnership with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky.

That survey is currently gathering data on production location, licensed acreage, planted acreage and harvested acreage by end-use. It also embraces issues related to seeds, fertilizer, licensing fees, labor, farm-gate prices by end use, and a number of matters related to contracts.

Hemp in broader census

As USDA deepens market intelligence for industrial hemp in the USA, the agency for the first time this year also has included the crop in a separate survey of farmers that is part of the national agriculture census.

For that survey, the National Agricultural Statistics Service queries 36,000 producers from various agriculture segments for responses to support market projections. The farming census, carried out every five years, looks at a wide range of indicators to guide policymaking.

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