Hemp has potential applications in thousands of products and can now provide an option in crop rotations.
Wyoming has the advantage of having less pests adapted to hemp than other parts of the country. The environment is drier, windier, and colder. This crop will be more accepted as the number of hemp processing options increases near the Cowboy state.
There are four main types of hemp production. Three types of hemp production are grain, fiber, and seed oil. The fourth type of hemp, CBD (cannabidiol), is actually only designated hemp by the recent 2018 Farm Bill definition. This new definition requires hemp to have less than 0.3 percent THC (psychoactive constituent of cannabis) from Schedule I controlled substances and making it an ordinary agricultural commodity.
CBD is derived from the same genetics as marijuana, providing additional challenges to production and keeping THC levels low. Under the new definition of hemp, its genetics may contain ratios of Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis, whereas historically hemp was primarily Cannabis sativa.
Hemp grain is farmed like other grains and produced using equipment grain growers are familiar with. Hemp grain is grown on more acres in Canada than any other type of hemp. The grain is currently marketed for human consumption. There is a high potential for hemp grain to be in the poultry feed market in the near future. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is reviewing hemp seed for poultry production approval. It stands to reason that hemp grain will be highly demanded for chicken feed since it is a high source of protein and healthy fat. Around 1900, hemp seed was considered premium bird feed.
Hemp fiber has so many uses the list is truly exhaustive. This kind of hemp that can be cut and baled will be in more demand as processing sites become more numerous and closer to growers.
Hemp seed oil is often confused with CBD since the U.S. market is selling a vast array of products that may contain some of either, both, or neither ingredients. Hemp seed oil doesn’t contain CBD or THC. Hemp seed oil is obtained by pressing hemp seeds. Cold-pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to clear light green in color, with a nutty flavor.
Industrial hemp seed oil is used in lubricants, paints, inks, fuel, and plastics. Hemp seed oil is used in the production of soaps, shampoos, and detergents. The oil has a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids. It may also be used as a feedstock for the large-scale production of biodiesel.
CBD is derived from cannabis that would have been called marijuana prior to the new definition of hemp in the Farm Bill that required the THC level in hemp to be less than .3 percent.
CBD production is more intensive than other kinds of hemp and requires a greater knowledge of horticultural practices. It typically involves cloning and transplanting and more weed control. There is good potential and experimentation with producing CBD via direct seeding, but the genetics and production are riskier and still not comparable to greenhouse and clonal production.
UW Extension hosting Wyoming hemp workshops in four locations
Concurrent Wyoming hemp workshops will be in Powell, Torrington, Wheatland, and Worland Jan. 13 and Feb. 3 by the University of Wyoming Extension.
Those interested can attend the host locations or view the Zoom sessions from their own location. A link to the Zoom conference will be sent prior to January.
Local hosts will start the workshops at 8 a.m. with an opening topic. Twenty-minute Zoom sessions are 9–11 a.m. followed by a 10 minute live question and answer session. The local host will resume the workshop and finish with a topic or guest speaker.
Extension educators serve as location hosts. Locations and hosts are:
Powell. Park County Fairgrounds, 655 E 5th. Jeremiah Vardiman, (307) 754-8836 or email@example.com.
Wheatland. Platte Valley Bank, 200 16th St. Leroy Jons, (307) 322-3667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Torrington. Goshen County Resource Center conference room, 4516 US Hwy. 26/85. Brian Sebade, email@example.com, with Carrie Eberle, firstname.lastname@example.org. Call (307) 532-2436 for more information.
Worland. Washakie County Extension Office, 1200 Culbertson St. Caitlin Youngquist, (307)347-3140 or email@example.com.
Zoom speakers and topics
9 a.m. – Hemp grain weed management, Jeff Kostuik, director of operations in central Canada and the U.S. for Hemp Genetics International (HGI)
9:30 a.m. – Hemp seed oil introduction, Roger Gussiaas, president Healthy Oilseeds, LLC Carrington, North Dakota
10 a.m. – Montana hemp variety trial information, Perry Miller, cropping systems professor, Montana State University
10:30 a.m. – Wyoming hemp permits/testing update, Wes Brown, hemp lead, Wyoming Department of Agriculture
John Connett is an integrated pest management specialist and hemp agronomist with the University of Wyoming Extension. He can be contacted at (307) 766-5022.