USDA Plans to Survey 18,000 Hemp Producers
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to distribute a national survey to gain insight from hemp producers into their current production expenses, manufacturing practices, and marketing strategies.
The USDA expects the survey to help the Department develop a better understanding of the industry on a national, state, and local level.
The survey, which is prepared in collaboration with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky, will be sent to 18,000 hemp businesses. It will consist of four parts and should take about 30 minutes to complete.
The first section will collect information regarding production, such as location and planted and harvested acreage.
The second and third sections will be more specific, focusing on “production costs and practices” and “contracting and marketing practices,” respectively. The final part is a demographic section that will pose questions about the producers’ age, race, experience, and education.
However, before hemp growers can take the survey, the USDA has to get approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget to distribute the questionnaires to the general public. For that reason, the Department is opening a 60-day comment period during which all concerned parties can submit their feedback, comment on the necessity of the survey, and propose ways to improve it.
Last month the USDA declared that hemp farmers are eligible for benefits from the latest coronavirus relief program after excluding them earlier this year.
American hemp farmers obtained yet another win last month when the House of Representatives introduced a funding bill that would extend the 2014 Farm Bill pilot program until September 2021, leaving more time for the USDA to react to the feedback on proposed rules.