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Cornell University Receives $2.3 Million for Hemp Research

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The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research’s (FFAR) Hemp Research Consortium has provided two grants totaling $1,170,000 to Cornell University for hemp research.

The 2018 Farm Bill has limited hemp growing in the country as it restricted activities to certain varieties of hemp cultivated in Canada or Europe.

In a bid to improve domestic hemp crops, the FFAR Hemp Research Consortium has provided grants that will support a long-term breeding programme. The programme is aimed at cultivating hemp for grain, fiber and CBD production.

Consortium partners have also contributed matching funds for a total investment of $2,340,000.

In a press statement, Dr Angela Records, FFAR chief scientific officer, commented: “With its potential for hundreds of food and industrial applications, hemp can be a major cash crop in the U.S..

“This research will contribute to a burgeoning hemp industry by acclimating the crop to a variety of growing regions across the country.”

The department has suggested that successful hemp crops will yield a number of products including plant protein, health and care products, textiles and industrial applications and could provide an alternative crop for farmers dependant on tobacco.

The department stated: “…because Canada and Europe have longer days than the U.S. during the summer growing season, hemp varieties from these areas tend to result in smaller yields, and thus limited profit, when grown in the U.S. This is particularly true in sub-tropical regions such as Florida, because of the shorter days.”

Researchers at the University will be working to understand the genetic basis of the varieties’ photoperiod threshold, the amount of light a plant needs to achieve flowering and other types of development, as well as developing varieties of hemp that will deliver higher yields at lower latitudes.

“Those new cultivars are showing improved grain and fiber yields and undetectable levels of THC, making them fully compliant with THC regulations,” the department continued.

“Cornell breeders are selecting for late-flowering individual plants grown in trials in New York, North Carolina and Florida that also produce high yields of CBD, which has never been achieved before.”

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