Chengci To Discuss Industrial Hemp Outlook For Montana

Dr. Chengci Chen, MSU-EARC superintendent, will be speaking about the potential of industrial hemp crop in Montana at the EARC Field Day, July 20 at 9:45 a.m. 

Since 2018, Montana farmers have been producing Industrial hemp - it has now become increasingly popular in Montana; farmers that are growing hemp are seeing both a demand and profit increase, while farmers who have never grown hemp before are rushing to plant it in their fields.

Industrial hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa L. and is of the same plant species as marijuana. Hemp, however, has lower levels of the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana has over 30% THC.

Variety selection, environment, and agronomic management can affect the concentration of CBD. As industrial hemp has not been grown in the United States for many years, data available from the earlier research is not suitable for today's agriculture. Because of this, scientists and researchers have started implementing trials of hemp at the Montana State University Eastern Agricultural Research Center, Sidney. Chen and Dr. Apurba Sutradhar, postdoctoral research associate, has been working on the hemp trials in an effort to see how profitable hemp can be in eastern Montana.

MSU's goal is to adapt hemp as a mainstream and/or rotational crop for industrial application. The main objective is to optimize cultivation practices for eastern Montana. Staff is evaluating germplasm, agronomic parameters, production/harvest for use as fiber, grain, and CBD, nutrient management, and performance of hemp under eastern Montana conditions.


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