Twenty commercial farms in 12 Florida counties have been selected to conduct on-farm hemp trials. The trials will be part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Industrial Hemp Pilot Project. The farms are in different agricultural regions to provide a variety of conditions to study the growth and success of the crop across the state.
“When choosing growers, we looked carefully at each application to evaluate what each grower could bring to the project and if they could satisfy the objectives of the coordinated trial while meeting the required security measures,” said Zachary Brym, UF/IFAS agronomy assistant professor and hemp pilot project coordinator. “The selected farms will work on a coordinated research trial on 2 acres per farm to understand the impacts of the environment, or their soil and access to water, on how hemp grows. Growers have the option to include another 3 acres for an independent research trial focused on industry development.”
If growers choose to add the additional 3 acres, they are asked to submit a plan that states a clear research topic, achievable goals and detailed methods for those 3 acres in the application, according to Brym. Examples of acceptable topics include variety trials, fertilizer trials, irrigation system design, equipment tests and others. Farmers will submit an annual report to the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project of all activities pertaining to the UF/IFAS on-farm trial.
Hemp varieties will be planted at each farm to see how they perform under the differing conditions across the state.
“This is an excellent opportunity to grow our community with farmers that share the UF/IFAS mission to make information available broadly on growing hemp,” Brym said. “UF/IFAS Extension agents play a major part in this effort to work with the farmers in their area and help share the information we gain from this research.”
The UF/IFAS research with industry partners focuses on propagation, accumulation of cannabinoids during plant growth and commercialization of plant genetics.
Click here for more information about the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project.
Those trying hemp production have been cautioned to start small and be cautious; learn more here.
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