In a notice published last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requested permission from the White House to begin collecting data on national hemp production.
While the type of data that the USDA is collecting has not been made clear, the department aims to receive 20,000 responses from hemp producers across the country, with the aim of gaining further insight into how to properly regulate the industry.
The respondents have been selected from a list of hemp producers compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), who are conducting the data collection in the interest of learning more about the “current production costs, production practices, and marketing practices” in the hemp industry. The data collection will be conducted under the authority of the Domestic Hemp Production Program.
NASS will conduct the data collection through mail, along with “multiple mailings and internet data collection tools, followed up with phone” to increase the number of responses collected.
This is a follow-up to the USDA’s publication of final national hemp production rules, released on January 15. They are expected to go into effect this month. The information gathered by the USDA will be used to provide further insight into how the industry will be regulated going forward.
Representatives from the USDA also met with representatives from the hemp industry for the first time to discuss the market’s needs.
Stakeholders in the industry are optimistic about the release of the final rule, but hope that more policies will be enacted by the USDA.
The USDA will be accepting comments to their hemp survey plan until April 26. The USDA is also sending content tests for farmers in the leadup to gathering information for the 2022 agricultural census, which will include collecting census information on hemp for the first time.
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