USDA Announces Grant To Collect ‘Superior Performing’ Hemp Seeds

MJ moment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it will be making grant money available to support the “breeding, testing and development” of “superior performing” hemp varieties. Under the agency’s Supplemental and Alternative Crops (SAC) competitive grant program, one task for hemp producers would be to help to build up USDA’s Hemp Germplasm Repository in New York. Overall, the objective of the program is to “produce results to increase the cost effectiveness and competitiveness of [hemp] grown as components of production systems across the country.” In addition to industrial hemp grown for “value added products,” the funding is also available to operations growing canola for oil. “The purpose of this integrated research and extension program is to adapt these multiple-purpose crops to diverse growing regions in the U.S.,” a notice states, “so that domestic canola oil and industrial hemp production can be significantly increased and be profitable nationwide.” Funding Opportunity: @USDA_NIFA's Supplemental & Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program supports projects that lead to expanded adaptation/increased acres in US of canola grown for oil & industrial hemp grown for value-added products. View RFA/Apply: https://t.co/yIK4AbpRD9 pic.twitter.com/8VAmQaKVni — NIFA (@USDA_NIFA) January 5, 2021 USDA announced a similar SAC research grant in 2019, noting the need for improved efficacy in hemp cultivation following the crop’s federal legalization under the 2018 Farm Bill. But the funding for this year’s program is markedly increased, from $50,000 to $125,000 per year for a project period of up to four years. “The SAC program encourages applicants to establish and work through region-based, multi-state research networks to address priority national or regional science needs of the canola and industrial hemp industries,” USDA said. “The SAC program seeks to accelerate the development and use of superior varieties and practices adapted to regional conditions that produce benefits to growers and…

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