University of Wisconsin begins nationwide hemp growers & processors survey

A University of Wisconsin researcher is surveying hemp growers and processors around the U.S. Shelby Ellison is the University of Wisconsin Extension hemp research coordinator.  She says, “Any person who either grew it or processed it or has some interest in hemp should take this survey to kind of synthesize what they learned and what they would really like research to focus on moving forward.”

Ellison tells Brownfield this is part of a multi-state project to help USDA determine future hemp research and funding priorities. 

Ellison says many farmers had high hopes for growing hemp in 2019. “There’s actually quite a lot of hemp that is actually sitting in people’s barns unsold right now, so I think that that’s going to drive people to try to answer the survey truthfully and really try to figure out how we can make this industry successful.”

Ellison says she has distributed the survey’s online link by contacting growers and processors directly in some states and through state agriculture departments where grower privacy is protected. “I would think that the survey will go out to potentially upwards of 15-thousand people around the country, and as of about a week ago, I knew that I had responses from over a thousand people.”

The survey was released early in December, and Ellison will be compiling the results from 33 states beginning in January. “Anyone can take it that would like to, but a lot of the questions pertain specifically to growing it and selling it this year.”

The survey link is also available on several hemp Facebook sites and here.

Ellison says many universities including Wisconsin have already started looking at the agronomics of hemp, getting a baseline for nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus requirements, plant spacing, variety trials, and she says some of that early research data will be released to farmers soon.

Shelby Ellison with the Unversity of Wisconsin discusses the nationwide hemp survey with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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