Texas’s Panda Biotech has announced it is donating more than 60 tons of approved hemp seed for fiber crops to Texas agricultural producers.
That’s a lot of seed – there’s around 27,000 hemp seeds per pound, so 60 tons would work out to 3,240,000,000 seeds.
There doesn’t seem to be any nasty gotchas associated with this generous donation – farmers taking up on the offer will be asked, but not compelled, to provide basic data on their hemp crop – and those that do will also receive a copy of a report based on information gleaned from the initiative.
“We are literally seeding Texas’ industrial hemp industry,” said Scott Evans, executive vice president of Panda Biotech. “We’re doing this not only because we’re confident in American-grown hemp fiber’s potential to revolutionize several industries — from textiles, bioplastics, and paper to high-tech manufacturing — but also because of the confidence we have in the Texas farmer.”
Of course, there may be some significant benefits for Panda Biotech – the company’s name will stick in the minds of farmers who may be looking for a processor for their crops.
Enter Panda Biotech again.
The company was in the spotlight late last year when it announced its intentions to construct the first industrial hemp processing facility in Lubbock County, Texas. Panda Biotech said the facility was expected to be the largest hemp decortication center in the USA and one of the biggest in the world. In April this year the company said it had contracted with an international equipment manufacturer for the construction of the decorticator, which will be able to process 10 tons of hemp an hour.
The seed giveaway has already begun. Each grower will be provided with up to 25-acres worth of seed on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
While farmers may use the resulting industrial hemp crop for just about any purpose they choose, the only exception is producing seed for subsequent crops. So, the company is likely banking on farmers purchasing seed from Panda in subsequent seasons. By putting its money where its mouth is (so to speak) now, assuming the seed is of good quality there’s significant potential for repeat customers.
More information on the initiative is available here.
Trivia: a pound of hemp seed for fiber crops was worth around USD $2 – $3 a pound in September last year; so Panda Biotech’s initiative is probably costing it around $240,000 – $360,000.