Texas A&M AgriLife Researchers to Develop New Hemp Varieties

Texas A&M AgriLife Researchers to Develop New Hemp Varieties
Cannabtimes

<![CDATA[A team of researchers from Texas A&M AgriLife is working to develop new hemp varieties that can withstand the southern U.S.’ high temperatures and substantial drought conditions, and meet legal requirements.Russ Jessup, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research hemp breeder and associate professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, told Texas A&M Today that the “goal is to create a collection that incorporates the majority of genetic variation across all cannabis within C. sativa that will benefit farmers with high-yielding cultivars, biofuel refineries with reliable feedstocks, customers with quality products, and society with beneficial ecosystem services.”The researchers received a two-year $201,174  Compliant Hemp Accelerated Improvement Network (CHAIN) grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop the hemp cultivars.Jessup told the news outlet that the goal is to release between 10 and 20 lines by the end of 2023 and 20 to 50 more in 2024.Addressing the ChallengesAccording to the news outlet, the researchers are trying to fill a “gap in breeding” in the state and address the significant challenges with hemp cultivation, explicitly noting the high heat and drought stress in Texas, which has made hemp production difficult.According to a recent study, “Hemp plants can endure drier conditions after establishment, but severe drought results in early maturity and stunted plants.”Over 75% of Texas is facing drought this year, which has greatly impacted farmers and hemp production due to the soil hardening in the dry heat, The Texas Tribune reported. The news outlet noted a figure from a survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, which found that 2022 crop yields are down 68% in Texas due to drought—that number is slightly greater than decreases in Oklahoma (60%) and New Mexico (54%).Jessup said that farmers have also struggled with uniformity in…

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Source : Texas A&M AgriLife Researchers to Develop New Hemp Varieties

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