The USDA is launching a massive study of the hemp industry

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The federal agency wants input from 20,000 hemp farmers to shape policy

The hemp market has undoubtedly begun to boom after the crop was legalized at the federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill. That’s why in an effort to get more information on this growing market, a large-scale survey will be conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

It all started with the request for permission at the White House earlier this year to conduct the survey of some 20,000 hemp farmers. It appears that the desired progress is being made, as last Thursday, the agency’s National Agricultural Statistics Service announced that the final details of the forms are being finalized for completion by mail or online. Among the questions highlighted in the survey are what the plans are for outdoor hemp production, the primary and secondary uses of the crop, the acreage under cultivation for the operations and also what types of prices producers can enter.

“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 questionnaires used for this survey will collect data for hemp produced in the open as well as under cover (greenhouses, low or high tunnels, hoop houses, etc.).”

The USDA informed via video that the survey results are of great importance to understand the current market, especially as they will help establish the benchmark for hemp production and acreage. This information could then be shared to help growers, regulatory agencies, state governments, processors and other industry stakeholders.