Three state universities have signed agreements with the Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) to conduct hemp research in 2016, VDACS announced.
- James Madison University (JMU) will research how effectively industrial hemp will grow in Virginia’s Ridge and Valley province and will test whether industrial hemp seed can be planted and harvested with conventional agricultural equipment. JMU will also investigate the use of industrial hemp seed oil in the production of biodiesel.
- Virginia State University (VSU) will research and analyze required soils, growing conditions, and harvest methods related to various varieties of industrial hemp, conduct industrial hemp seed research, and study the use of industrial hemp in new energy technologies.
- Virginia Tech (VT) will conduct agronomic trials to identify industrial hemp varieties that are well-suited to the soils and climate of Virginia and to compare yield responses to various agronomic treatments.
VT and VSU will run their research on university-owned or managed property, while JMU will work with private growers, under VDACS guidelines. The Department noted that no further private growers are needed for 2016.