The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to engage approximately 20,000 hemp farmers in a large-scale survey in order to gain insight into the burgeoning hemp market, even as the USDA continues to approve state regulatory plans for the crop.
Topics for the questions will include acreage for operations, plans for outdoor hemp production, primary and secondary uses for the crop, and what kinds of prices producers are able to bring in. The questionnaire shows the USDA is also interested in learning about smokeable hemp, fiber, seeds, extracts like CBD, and grain for human consumption.
“The purpose of the proposed initial survey is to develop national and state estimates of the hemp planted and produced in 2020,” a USDA explanatory document says. “The survey will be conducted annually.”
The survey also goes over whether farmers plan to extract cannabinoids or terpenes from the crop, what kind of yields they’ve harvested, if they’ve been hand-trimming the hemp they produce, if they and how they obtain the seeds and clones they use. The questionnaires will collect data for hemp produced in the open as well as under cover (greenhouses, low or high tunnels, hoop houses, etc.).
“Hemp produced in the open will have data collected for five categories of hemp (flower, grain, fiber, seed, and other). Hemp produced under cover will have data collected for four categories of hemp (flower, clones or transplants, seed, or other),” it continues. “Similar questions will be asked for these different categories relating to amount harvested and prices received for each of the crops. In addition, there will be some demographic questions about the operator.”
The USDA hopes survey results will help “set the benchmark for hemp acreage and production to assist regulatory agencies, producers, state governments, processors, and other key industry entities.”
In January, USDA representatives held their first meeting with hemp industry stakeholders to learn about the market’s needs.