Lessons learned from initial field trials of hemp in New Mexico

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2021: $30,000.00
Projected End Date: 11/30/2023
Host Institution Award ID: G243-22-W8615
Grant Recipient: New Mexico State University
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Graduate Student:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Catherine Brewer
New Mexico State University
Since its re-legalization in 2018, farmers have seen mixed success with outdoor hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) production in the southwestern U.S. Initial field variety trials in New Mexico have revealed 1) the need for screening industrial (grain/fiber) hemp varieties for their response to regional photoperiods prior to planting, 2) the importance of using healthy transplant materials for high-cannabidiol (CBD) varieties, 3) the merit of further investigation of the effects of organic management practices, and 4) the tendency of beet leaf hoppers to transmit beet curly top virus to hemp crops. In addition to increased adoption of hemp for both CBD and industrial applications, legal production of Cannabis for adult-use recreational or medicinal markets has expanded rapidly across the U.S. The production of high-cannabinoid plants creates large amounts of unused lignocellulosic biomass (stalks, leaves). There has been substantial interest in the conversion of this unused biomass into bio-based materials and chemicals. High-cannabinoid plant stalks are often considered unfit for decortication because the stalks are different from industrial fiber hemp types. Little information is available on the chemical properties of the high cannabinoid plant stalk fibers. Finding suitable value-added uses for the residues from growing hemp and Cannabis markets will become increasingly important. Data and observations gathered from two-year hemp field trials and chemical composition information from processing waste streams provide valuable information for developing sustainable Cannabis industries in NM and across the U.S.
Conference/Presentation Material
Hanah Rheay, NMSU
Rebecca Creamer, NMSU
Catherine Brewer, NMSU
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.