USDA Wants to Survey Hemp Businesses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is planning to distribute a survey to gain information from thousands of hemp businesses, an effort that could help regulate the hemp industry.

The USDA is partnering with the University of Kentucky to develop and administer the survey. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) will distribute the survey through each state’s agriculture department. The USDA said it expects around 18,000 businesses to respond to the survey, and it will be distributed to Tribes that have approved hemp production programs. The USDA has already required six states to resubmit their industrial hemp cultivation plans.

The survey will focus on four areas: general hemp experience, production costs and practices, contracting and marketing practices, and decision-maker characteristics, which are just general demographic questions. The agency also asked for public comments on its intent to collect hemp production information, asking the public to comment on whether the information collected will be useful for the agency’s functions, ways to minimize the burden on those filling out the survey and ways to enhance the quality and utility of the information collected.

“The data obtained from the survey will be used for forecasting hemp activity and to develop a representative understanding of hemp production practices and costs at national, regional, and state levels,” the USDA said. “Once the survey has been administered and the results collected, the University of Kentucky will summarize the raw data from the survey into a comprehensive report for .”

The survey announcement comes after the USDA closed a public comment session on its proposed hemp regulations. The initial round saw over 4,600 comment submissions, but the USDA reopened the feedback period after intense pushback from stakeholders. The USDA’s rule for hemp is set to take effect on October 31, 2021.

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