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New Crop for Florida thanks to UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Research Project

Did you know that University of Florida /IFAS researchers (scientists) are working on a new crop for the Florida industry: it is the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Project!

I found out all this information when I attended one of three educational workshops held around the state (Homestead) by UF/IFAS faculty. I would like to share with you some of the facts I learned.

What is Industrial Hemp?

Industrial Hemp, also known as Cannabis sativa (scientific name) is a potential new crop in Florida than contains less than 0.3% of THC (the psychoactive chemical that at higher levels defines marijuana) per dry weight.

Is this Marijuana?

No, Industrial hemp is not marijuana. They differ in the THC content.

What are Some Applications of Industrial Hemp?

Industrial Hemp can be used in many industry sectors:

Technology and/or Production (grown for forage, fiber, and grain)

Market and/or Processing (textiles, seed, plant extracts)

What is this New Research Pilot Program About?

The UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project objectives are:

Evaluation of Hemp varieties, management and invasive risk.

Hemp Varieties: There are 31 certified varieties identified and this team will study aspects such as: germination, flowering height, biomass, yield, diseases among other topics. Also, researchers will test planting date trials with the best cultivars.

Hemp Management: Evaluation of field production, spacing and fertilizer trials.

Invasive Risk:  Evaluation in greenhouse (light, water, soil response) and field trials. Control measures to minimize escape and modeling invasive risk across Florida.

So far there are three (3) production sites, 7-10 acres each site. To initiate this pilot project funding was necessary. The goal of this project is to open all the future information to the public.

Are Industry Opportunities Available?

This pilot project is committed to develop broad collaboration, partnership and sponsorship with growers, industry and other universities. There are growers and industry involvement opportunities:

You can join this group in two ways:

As Advisory Member of the Pilot Project

As Qualified Project Partner (Section 13, FDACS 5B-57.013) or in other type of sponsorships.

Questions? Contact the Project Coordinator of the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Research Team: Dr. Zack Brym: brymz@ufl.edu or 786.217.9238 in south Florida for more information.