Funding is very limited for any hemp work this year. I have received neither inquiries nor funding for any cannabinoid work so at this time I will not be planting any CBD variety trials. Here are the current projects and locations. If you wish to learn more about any of these trial sites, please e-mail me.
- Fiber & Grain Variety Yield Trial—Texas A&M AgriLife, Lubbock, 33.5° N
Fifteen hemp fiber and grain varieties have been chosen by Trostle for planting three-rep randomized trials to gauge hemp fiber and grain variety germination, establishment, photoperiod response, and raw fiber and/or grain yield. These varieties are:
- The Joker Black Canyon Seed/Delta Ag Partners
- AV-1 AcquiFlow, Gunter, TX
- Bialobrzeskie (a northern check) International Hemp
- Eletta Campana Italy
- Fibranova Italy
- Yu Ma (Fig. 2A) China
- Jin Ma China
- Puma China
- Han Ne China
- Arizona Star Halcyon Hemp
- SHV-1 Sun House Ventures, Colorado
- SS Beta IND Hemp
- Muka 76 Hemp-IT, France
- Two advanced fiber experimentals from Cornell Univ. (Chinese background, reduced THC)
- Kenaf: Whitten and one additional line to be determined.
Plants will be evaluated weekly for initiation of reproductive development (expected early among far northern varieties). This is potentially detrimental to hemp fiber production in the southern U.S. Additional measures will include plant height and base stalk diameter at harvest. New in 2022 is an expanded assessment of fiber yield. Two harvest dates will be chosen. The first is harvest yield for biomass at the appearance of initial male reproductive growth. This is what the North Carolina hemp fiber industry targets. (They like a plant that is little more than the diameter of a pencil and ≥6’ tall.) A second harvest will be conducted six to eight weeks later that represents emphasis on hurd. For longer maturing varieties a decision will be made apart from waiting for initial male reproductive growth (late August to late September) to take harvest at an earlier stage that will mimic bast type harvest. Then final hurd type harvest at the end of the season.
The project will also include at least two kenaf lines. Kenaf is a lesser-known fiber crop that has potential uses and yields comparable to industrial hemp. But kenaf is free of any regulations on production, THC, etc.
- Fiber & Grain Variety Observation—Texas A&M AgriLife “Stiles Farm”, Thrall (~40 miles NE of Austin), 30.5° N
This trial site is primarily for observation of initial flowering to find variety adaptation to central Texas. The same varieties are included at the above Lubbock site. Qualitative data will be recorded for relative potential growth. Williamson Co. agricultural Extension agent Gary Pastushok is key to implementing and maintaining this site. The location will be part of the Stiles Farm summer field tour the evening of June 21 (details below).
- Planting Date Variety Observation Trial—Texas A&M AgriLife, Lubbock, 33.5° N
Up to 25 industrial hemp fiber and dual-purpose fiber/grain varieties have been chosen by Trostle for observation of onset reproductive growth. This is important for identifying varieties that are suitable for growing in Texas and southerly latitudes. Varieties are planted in duplicate single-row plots 12’ long (200 seeds target adjusted for %germination), lightly covered with soil then covered with ½” garden mulch to reduce possible soil crust. The trial began March 30, 2022, the next planting date was April 27, and continue on 28-day intervals into August.
In addition to the varieties listed above in the Lubbock AgriLife variety trial, these lines are part of the test.
- CFX-1 (northerly check) Canada
- Altair (northerly check) Canada
- Yuma Crossbow Wright-Oakes, Colorado
- Hliana (northerly check) Ukraine
- Henola International Hemp
- Enectoral International Hemp
- Carmenecta International Hemp
- Future 83 (added late) Hemp-IT, France
- Dioica (added late) Hemp-IT, France
Initial Results, April 30, 2022
For the March 27 planting date (Fig. 1), the following varieties are already at some degree of undesired reproductive growth as of April 30: Bialobrzeskie, CFX-1 (Fig. 2B), Yuma Crossbow, Hliana, Henola. This means the nights (more correctly the slightly shorter “dark period”) is already too long thus triggering reproductive growth. It is possible at a later planting date the dark period may be shorter and not trigger reproductive growth. Thus, a variety still might be suitable if it is not planted too early.
I will be reporting on this project throughout the summer into fall. The next planting date is May 25, 2022.
Fig. 1. Planting date observation trial for evaluation of photoperiod/initial reproductive growth for industrial hemp varieties, Lubbock, TX, May 2, 2022. Hemp in the foreground was planted March 30, in the distance the April 27 planting date just beginning to emerge.
Fig. 2A & B. Early emergence and growth (May 2) from March 30, 2022 planting date observation, Lubbock, TX. A) Yu Ma fiber variety, B) CFX-1, a Canadian grain variety that is grossly unfit for growth at a southerly latitude due to already entering reproductive which will lead to poor growth and little yield.
- Hemp Fiber Irrigation Trial—Texas A&M AgriLife, Lubbock, 33.5° N
Two diverse hemp fiber varieties, Yuma (China) and Eletta Campana (Italy) have been chosen for limited irrigation studies. This work is funded by the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District, Lubbock, TX. Work is joint with Texas Tech Univ. (a sister field site at their Lubbock Quaker Farm). The treatments consist of two varieties, two seeding rates (500,000 & 1,000,000 pure live seed per acre), and three irrigation levels (dryland, seasonal 6”, seasonal 12”) among three replications. Fiber yield, observations of floral development, etc. will be recorded. Irrigation treatments will be applied from a large tank to measure the needed water in 1” applications. (The Texas Tech site is sub-surface drip irrigation.) Soils will be sampled for initial and final soil moisture. The Texas Tech site planted April 20 and was watered from a tank to get germination due to drought conditions. The Lubbock site will plant by May 10.
- Managing THC >0.3% in Fiber Hemp Varieties—Texas A&M AgriLife, Lubbock, 33.5° N
I have not worked out the details yet. Chinese fiber lines grow well at all latitudes in Texas. But THC >0.3% is common. Yu Ma is of particular interest, but in 2021 I measured THC 0.4-0.8% in the leaves at initial male reproductive growth at Lubbock. Can this be managed to meet TDA requirements? I have a thesis for these longer maturity lines (initial male reproductive growth not observed until late August to late September at Lubbock). During the retting process leaves fall off the plant, but reproductive structures likely will not. TDA acknowledges that cutting/retting—the stalks remain in the field—might be considered a remediation method for high THC. We have noticed this in other states. THEN the upper portion of stalk, without leaves or reproductive growth, would be measured for THC. That technical procedure is driven by testing cannabinoid lines for CBD. This is not a fit for how a hemp fiber crop is managed. A method will be developed for testing retting stalks to observe how much time and the weather conditions needed to lose the leaves. This is not a best-fit scenario. We need in the long-run varieties like Eletta Campana where THC is not an issue.
- Other AgriLife Hemp Work—Breeding.
A&M plant breeders/geneticists are working on several topics. These include Dr. Michael Thomson, College Station (including gene editing); Dr. Russell Jessup, College Station (plant breeding and development of novel Cannabis breeding lines); Dr. Jorge Da Silva, Weslaco (plant tissue culture and breeding).
Texas Department of Agriculture Hemp Reminders
TDA again reminds licensees to be sure to still file your lot crop reports for 2021 if you missed your deadline. If you planning to renew your hemp licenses and permits or your sampler licenses for 2022, be sure you do not let your 2021 license lapse. As always, if you have questions for TDA call or e-mail.
Upcoming Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Hemp Programs
June 7, 2022. Statewide hemp Zoom update. Details will come near June 1 in the next AgriLife hemp update via newsletter and e-mail.
June 21, 2022. Stiles Farm Field Day, Thrall, TX, 4:30-8:30 PM. We will review the hemp observation trial noted in #2 above. Follow the details at http://stilesfarm.tamu.edu We anticipate a second hemp meeting there later in the summer.
Ongoing Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Hemp Resources
We continue adding resources at http://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/hemp including under ‘Hot Topics & Latest Updates’ on the main page.
Hemp Plant Disease Diagnostics—Texas A&M AgriLife @ Amarillo
Download the needed hemp-specific form from https://thppdd-lab.tamu.edu The policy for hemp diagnostics and collection/packaging/submitting plants is on the back of the form. It is best to notify Dr. Ken Obasa in advance of sending samples, office 806.677.5600, firstname.lastname@example.org In fact, you may e-mail digital images first which might provide a diagnosis and save the transport permit and diagnostic fees.
Texas A&M AgriLife Hemp Potency Testing for THC & Cannabinoids
Sample analyses of hemp for THC and cannabinoids is available through Texas A&M AgriLife labs at Uvalde and Lubbock. College Station will be added soon. The labs are now equipped with an auto sampler which greatly speeds analysis of large sample sets. For further information consult http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/hemp.html This service is not currently for official THC analyses required by law.
Our Hemp Program Twitter Account
Video Series: Economic & Legal Considerations for Hemp Production in Texas
This series of 29 videos is available at https://agecoext.tamu.edu/resources/legal-and-economic-considerations-for-growing-hemp/ Topics cover legal, contracting, economics, and potential crop insurance. The website is divided into the sections below. Choose the YouTube video you want to see and also the slides for each presentation (3 to 15 minutes).
Do you have hemp questions?
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension resource specialists are active in hemp for agronomy, plant diseases, agricultural economics, plant breeding, and insects. E-mail Calvin Trostle for contacts.
“Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides equal opportunities in its programs and employment to all persons, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.
Dr. Calvin Trostle, Professor & Extension Agronomist/AgriLife State Hemp Specialist, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, email@example.com