USDA chief questions hemp’s use in animal feed, gives nod to plant’s mounting interest

Hemp’s suitability as an ingredient in animal feed “remains to be seen,” according to the nation’s agriculture chief.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters at a cattle-industry conference in New Orleans that he didn’t know animal feed was a potential use of hemp.

“We hear a lot of industrial uses for (hemp), but I think it remains to be seen if part of the product could be used in animal agriculture,” Perdue said in comments first reported by AgWeb.

Hemp is currently banned in U.S. commercial animal feed because it isn’t an ingredient recognized by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, a 50-state association of state agriculture regulators.

It’s unclear what the potential market would be for hemp components in commercial animal feed. A 2017 Colorado study cited “a lack of domestic economic data” about the market.

The USDA and Perdue have said little about how the agency plans to regulate hemp, though the 2018 Farm Bill charged the agency with developing a plan to monitor hemp’s THC levels and approving state-level oversight plans.

Perdue said at the cattle conference that one of his deputies gets “more questions about hemp than probably anything in the Farm Bill.”

The USDA has no deadline for creating hemp regulations.

14 comments on “USDA chief questions hemp’s use in animal feed, gives nod to plant’s mounting interest
  1. Lisa on

    Hey usda, we the people are eating hemp so it’s okay for us but not for animals and their products? Get real!stop your antiquated thinking. do your job.End of story.

    • Laurie Ka on

      Humans eat a lot of things that are not nutritionally beneficial to us. And what is healthful food for us isn’t necessarily good food cows and vis versa; we can’t eat just grass without some serious side effects. It would actually be cruel to feed them something that is not part of their normal diet without first testing to make sure that there are no species specific issues.

      • Mike Malone on

        Im a New Zealand farmer. We feed dairy cows with Palm kernel from Malaysia Because it’s cheap. But no one considered or tested whether it was good for bovine animals to eat?! So that destroys that argument I’m afraid.

      • george johnson on

        Let’s files these ridiculous laws alongside the bureaucrats other inane dogma like STAY HOME and WEAR A MASK! You should buy a car and pay the fees but don’t actually go out and drive it because we bureaucrats like driving on empty roads. I do. Don’t you? So yeah STAY HOME and don’t let your dog eat that – it’s unproven!

  2. Angela Ellis on

    The only thing is that “CBD” hemp is NOT industrial hemp. It was falsely put under this heading to avoid the negative stigma of cannabis. THE TRUTH is that CBD cannabis is the same as THC cannabis, but with a flip of percentages. I fully support CBD cannabis, but the bullshit needs to stop with calling it Industrial Hemp. It is not. And that’s the truth. True industrial hemp looks nothing like the CBD plants. Industrial hemp is what is needed for food and fiber. Regulations to support growing times and the ability to grow both crops is what is needed. They can be grown in the same season. When will Hemp Industry Daily come clean?

    • Gail Martin on

      Half right. Which doesn’t feed the bull dog. I could type for an hour on this and oddly I will be addressing Bostons Seed to Sale show Feb 16-17 on this very subject. You need a bit more research as hemp is a cousin, not a brother . I’ll just leave it there.

  3. Gail Martin on

    You need to expect a LOT of this. What most people DON’T know is that hemp has been best known in recent years as one of the best in phytoremediation which is the plant can suck out nasty’s found in the soil. Heavy metals, even radiation. So naturally where this is grown–how it is tested has a lot to do with using it as animal feed for products for human consumption. I can tell you as a grower and processor–there is a LOT___ I MEAN A LOT of tainted CBD oil out there which people are sucking/vaping down, and that is gonna cause OUR industry headaches down the road as these people get ill, and its traced back to hemp. No free lunch in life, we have an uphill climb ahead and REGULATION–TESTING and CERTIFICATION is the only way to battle back. Just look at Kratom!

  4. Tom McClain on

    As a grower of Industrial Hemp for CBD,phytoremediation and soil regeneration, I believe healing the soil will become the most critical aspect of what hemp does in the field. In remediated conditions of growth hemp typically does not set the remediated substraits into the nut “seed”, so it’s potential as a food source remains for mammalian life.


    Ignorance is certainly not bliss in this respect. Do some research and find out that Hemp was the primary feed used for livestock before it was demonized by the Rockefeller/Rothchild/Heart empires, 80 years ago. The “authorities” who say the jury is still out as far as Hemp being of value in livestock feed are total ignorant fools who have their heads up their asses. That or they are liars. Hemp was used as animal feed, among, hundreds of other uses for thousands of years.

  6. Richard Swafford on

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters at a cattle-industry conference in New Orleans that he didn’t know animal feed was a potential use of hemp. But ROUNDUP READY grains are okay??? Big AG helps BIG PHARMA and the Cartels (Cheap LABOR) to stay in business. Just stop and think about it…

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