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July 15 -- The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), invites the public to submit comments to OMB by August 16, 2021 regarding the proposed annual Hemp Acreage and Production Survey. The proposed initial survey aims to develop national and State estimates of the hemp planted and produced in 2020.
 
Hemp is a commodity that can be used for numerous industrial and horticultural purposes including fabric, paper, construction materials, food products, cosmetics, production of cannabinoids (such as cannabidiol or CBD), and other products.

The 2018 Farm Bill requires USDA to promulgate regulations and guidelines to establish and administer a program for the production of hemp in the United States. As defined in the 2018 Farm Bill, the term “hemp” means the plant species Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the primary intoxicating component of cannabis. Cannabis with a THC level exceeding 0.3 percent is considered marijuana, which remains classified as a schedule I controlled substance regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Under the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), Public Law 113-79, State departments of agriculture and institutions of higher education were permitted to produce hemp as part of a pilot program for research purposes. The authority for hemp production provided in the 2014 Farm Bill was extended by the 2018 Farm Bill, which was signed into law on December 20, 2018.

In determining the type of data that would need to be collected and the frequency of the data collections, NASS management attended a joint meeting with representatives from the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Risk Management Agency (RMA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and the Office of the Secretary.

The purpose of the proposed initial survey is to develop national and State estimates of the hemp planted and produced in 2020. The survey will be conducted annually. The questionnaires used for this survey will collect data for hemp produced in the open as well as under cover (greenhouses, low or high tunnels, hoop houses, etc.). Hemp produced in the open will have data collected for five categories of hemp (flower, grain, fiber, seed, and other). Hemp produced under cover will have data collected for four categories of hemp (flower, clones or transplants, seed, or other). Similar questions will be asked for these different categories relating to amount harvested and prices received for each of the crops. In addition, there will be some demographic questions about the operator.  
 
This is a new commodity to most current farm operators. No comprehensive data sets are available for this commodity. As new consumer markets are developed, the need for annual data on acreage and production are highly sought after. Of the total estimated sample size of 20,000, approximately 18,000 would be classified as small operators, or approximately 90%.   
 
Hemp Acreage and Production Survey proposal to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202105-0535-004 Click IC List for survey form, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation.  
FR notice inviting public comment to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/07/15/2021-15063/submission-for-omb-review-comment-request

Point of contact:  Lance Honig, NASS Crops Branch Chief  (202) 720-2127 @LanceHonig
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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