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ARS Collaborative Hemp Research


Hemp is finally having its moment in the sun. This promising crop has a variety of prospective market areas, from textiles to insulation to car parts to food to biofuels. To realize this potential, research and extension are needed to ensure optimal crop productivity and quality.

USDA-ARS researchers are partnering with Cornell University, Alabama A&M, Oregon State University, University of California-Davis, the University of Wisconsin and many other institutions to optimize hemp production and help hemp growers find new and existing markets for this new crop. Learn more below:  


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 (Left) Conical hemp plant in 2019 Geneva, NY CBD hemp trial (Cornell University, 2019), (Center) Field of hemp plants in 2019 Geneva, NY CBD hemp trial (Cornell University, 2019), (Right) Hemp growing in a Cornell AgriTech greenhouse (Cornell University)

USDA's Hemp Germplasm Collection


USDA's Hemp Germplasm Collection is developing into a comprehensive collection of genetically and geographically diverse hemp germplasm. Data from hemp curation, characterizations, and evaluations for agronomic performance, and end-product quality traits will be accessible worldwide via GRIN-Global and other data sources. This information will enhance curatorial efficiency and enable requestors to identify the optimal genetic resources for research, education, and breeding. Domestic and international research partnerships will be strengthened through exchange of information, research tools, and genetic resources. 

The USDA-ARS hemp germplasm collection held at the Plant Genetic Resources Unit will develop and apply curatorial techniques and approaches to conserve hemp genetic resources. These resources will be backed-up at the ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation, regenerated, monitored, and maintained with best management practices, so that high quality germplasm can be distributed to researchers and breeders within the hemp community. Vulnerable or threatened genetic resources for hemp wild relatives and cultivars will be safeguarded so that these critical sources of genes for hemp research and breeding are widely available. In addition, new genetic resources for hemp that might be suitable for U.S agricultural systems will be introduced. 

Recently, our team has developed a high-throughput pollen collection device with the ability to collect ~10 grams of high quality hemp pollen in under a minute. We hope to use this device to distribute hemp pollen to an international group of hemp breeders and researchers. To watch the video, click HERE.

Hemp Webinar Series


ARS and Cornell University co-hosted eight webinars on hemp science and research. These webinars provide opportunities for viewers to learn about hemp cultivation and processing as well as facility design, genetics, and food science. Viewers were able to connect with leaders in the hemp research community - an important step in increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each webinar includes input from experts in the hemp industry and an interactive Q&A session.

Check out the hemp webinar press release READ

Missed the webinars? Find the 2022 recordings on the Cornell SIPS YouTube Channel

Craving more hemp info? You can find the 2023 webinar recordings HERE!

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USDA Hemp Page

Learn about the U.S Domestic Hemp Production Program, the Hemp Pilot Program, and Hemp and Farm Bill Programs

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Hemp Legal Status

Is it legal to grow hemp? Is hemp still a controlled substance? Read the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes the legal definition of hemp. 

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Hemp FAQs

You've got questions about hemp growing and uses, and our collaborators at Cornell University have answers for you.

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Hemp Descriptor Handbook

Check our USDA's Hemp Descriptor and Phenotyping Handbook! (Image courtesy of Anya Osatuke)

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Hemp Germplasm

Want to learn more about hemp germplasm? Read about our collaboration research project goals of documentation, evaluation and characterization.

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Contact Us

For more information on ARS's conservation and utilization of hemp genetics project, click here or email:

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Hemp Webinars

Missed the hemp webinars? Check out the videos from all the webinar sessions on the Cornell SIPS YouTube Channel!