HomeNewsHemp Research Program Inviting Midwest Grower Participation

Hemp Research Program Inviting Midwest Grower Participation

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and its partners are again seeking licensed producers to participate in on-farm hemp variety trials during the 2024 growing season through the Hemp Cultivar Check Program.

Hemp might grow like a weed, but certain varieties perform better in different regions. In the US Midwest, as elsewhere, decades of prohibition resulted in a loss of knowledge of what performs best where. Furthermore, since hemp’s resurgence, new varieties have been developed.

Across the 2021, 2022, and 2023 growing seasons, a total of 36 grower cooperators evaluated 39 different hemp cultivars for performance and cannabinoid development under the Hemp Cultivar Check Program. The resulting information on how high cannabinoid hemp cultivars perform in different Midwestern locations provides a big boost to regional knowledge that can be accessed through the Midwestern Hemp Database. As well as the cannabinoid-focused database, there’s also a database for fibre and grain varieties.

In addition to the information the database provides, regional growers and university researchers participating received discounted cannabinoid profiling for CBC, CBD, CBG, CBN, and THC through the program’s lab partners. A list of cultivars is chosen annually from the Midwestern Hemp Database (MHD) to be further evaluated via the grower cooperator network.

Also participating in the collaboration is the University of Illinois, Michigan State University, Purdue University Extension, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Pride Analytics & Consulting, and Rock River Laboratory Inc.

The call has gone out for 2024 growing season, with applications closing at the end of next month. The application form can be found here. The Program has been supported by grants from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) initiative.

The 2023 Cultivar Check Program Report can be downloaded here.

Once one of the USA’s leading states for industrial hemp production, the crop was able to make a (legal) return to Wisconsin fields after then-Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 119 into law in 2017. Wisconsin’s current Governor, Tony Evers, signed a hemp bill into law¬† in 2019 that brought the state in line with the Federal 2018 Farm Bill.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.
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