USDA suggests new hemp survey with University of Kentucky

Fresh off its first survey of the American hemp industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing a deeper analysis of the sector through another survey in partnership with the University of Kentucky.

The USDA recently gave notice that it plans to survey roughly 20,000 hemp producers to find out more about market conditions.

“There is little to no information on demand for hemp-derived products, and market risks are exacerbated by lack of transparency and consistency in reporting,” the USDA wrote in its survey proposal.

The agency’s first survey, in 2021, revealed that hemp farmers are overwhelmingly white and male while also younger and more diverse than producers of other crops.

The USDA said it would like to conduct its survey in conjunction with the University of Kentucky annually to “determine break-even production costs and range and implications for market structure.”

If the project is approved, the university would carry out the survey and summarize raw data for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The USDA is taking public comments on the proposal through March 25.