A growing number of hemp farmers across the USA are sourcing certified European hemp varieties as American growers begin a shift into food seed and industrial outputs from the hemp stalk.

European seed distributor Hempoint said it shipped cultivation seed to nine states this year. More importantly, the Czech-based company said it provided six fiber hemp varieties to the Midwestern Hemp Database, a cooperative research initiative among universities in key farming states.

“These states have great potential for food and fiber production,” said Robin Destiche, Operations Manager at Hempoint, which has been a distributor of EU hemp planting seeds since 2013, and has been shipping seed to the USA since 2015. “It’s already well established that European grain and fiber varieties perform well under soil and climate conditions in this part of the country,” he said.

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Midwest trials

“The Midwest trials are being run by an experienced group of researchers who are excited about hemp and working to establish more public data regarding the growing conditions and potential yields, which is wonderful to see,” Destiche said. A growing number of inquiries from state and regional hemp associations and the expansion of research organizations studying hemp also reflect American interest in European varieties, he added.

The European catalog of certified seed varieties comprises predominantly fiber and grain cultivation seeds as European research and development in hemp genetics has generally been confined to those outputs. Only one CBD-rich strain is among those with official standing in the official EU list of hemp varieties.

European seeds easily meet the 0.3% THC limit for hemp under U.S. Department of Agriculture rules because they are bred for the EU THC limit of 0.2%. That means U.S. farmers have a lesser chance of their crops going “hot.”

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