Location: Cotton Ginning Research
Project Number: 6066-41440-009-010-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Jun 1, 2023
End Date: Oct 31, 2024
Working with university partners, the basis for industrial hemp fiber and hurd standards will be developed. Characterization techniques and standard methods will be developed to measure industrial hemp properties such as length, strength, color, fineness, fiber-hurd ratio, and non-fiber content. The USDA needs to develop industrial hemp fiber standards in order to aid in the development of a robust and viable domestic industrial hemp industry. Quality standards and grades act as a common “language" across the hemp supply chain and ultimately expand the availability of business opportunities for farmers. Uniform classification, standardization, and commodification standards of hemp fiber will help unite the national hemp fiber industry, improve market transparency, and develop valuable industry insights.
Work will be conducted using partnerships with the Oakridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and various university partners. Each university partner will be assigned one to two fiber properties to develop characterization techniques and methods based on the resources available at the partnering institution. Some fiber properties will be assigned to more than one institution to provide options for USDA-AMS to select the appropriate method. Hemp standards will rely on the use of existing cotton fiber standards as a starting point. ARS will hold monthly meetings for guidance and updates with each partner. Similar meetings will be held with the USDA-AMS Hemp Production Program to ensure appropriate progress is being made. This multi-institute and multi-disciplinary approach will increase the likelihood of successful development of the characterization standards the domestic hemp industry needs.