NASS Launching First-Ever Hemp Survey
Data collection will soon begin for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Services’ first-ever Hemp Acreage and Production survey. Later this month, USDA NASS will mail survey codes to thousands of potential hemp producers nationwide.
Gerald Tillman, National Agricultural Statistics Census and Survey Division Branch Chief, explains the survey.
“The Hemp Acreage and Production survey is basically the very first survey that USDA will be doing for hemp, and our focus is to gather help planted acres in open fields, hemp harvested acres in open fields, and the uses of hemp, hemp flour for human consumption, hemp for grain for human consumption, hemp for fiber and hemp for seed, and then anything it’s grown for that we’re not aware of. And we’re looking to gather to total pounds produced and sold for the four different types of uses. Also, hemp is grown under protection, your greenhouse and nursery operations, we will target as well.”
Bill Richmond, USDA AMS Domestic Hemp Program Chief, says this inaugural survey will set the benchmark for hemp acreage and production to assist regulatory agencies, producers, state governments, processors, and other key industry entities.
“It will really help us to improve our program delivery, and our offering of USDA programs across the entire department to the hemp industry, whether it’s for risk management products, insurance products, to help us conduct more targeted research around hemp genetics, for example. And it really allow us to refine and conduct more targeted outreach and education with hemp growers across the entire country. So, we know this is incredibly important, especially for our new and beginning farmers, for our underserved communities and for our tribal communities as well.”
Richmond says it will also serve the hemp industry and growers.
“It’ll give the entire hemp industry excellent insight around who has decided to grow hemp, where the concentrations of hemp growers are in the United States, where producers have found value in terms of whether or not it makes sense for them to be growing hemp for cannabinoids, or if there is more interest in growing hemp for fiber or grain, that will all be available under this new data collection.”
Tillman says survey codes for producers to respond online will be mailed October 18 for the 2021 Hemp Acreage and Production survey.
“It appears to have been a bit of a struggle for hemp producers to get things going and get things started, and we intend to do our very best to find out all the facts, not just for USDA, but to help the hemp industry. There’s no other way that we can find the facts that’s going to support a new industry like this, and likewise with our other surveys, we really encouraged for this is to report to us, we here at NASS and all of USDA do our best to support our farmers and ranchers.”
Results for the survey will be available in 2022. For more information, visit www.nass.usda.gov/go/hemp.