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Feb 23 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture invites comments to OMB by March 25, 2022 regarding its proposal to conduct a Survey of Hemp Producers and Production Trends.
 
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) amended the Agricultural Marketing Agreement of 1946 and was signed into law December 20, 2018, as Public Law 115-334. Sec. 10113 of the 2018 Farm Bill amended the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq. ) by adding Subtitle G—Hemp Production. The law requires U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promulgate regulations and guidelines to develop and oversee a program for the production of hemp in the United States.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has partnered with the University of Kentucky to develop and administer this hemp survey. The data obtained from the survey will be used for forecasting hemp activity and to develop a representative understanding of hemp production practices and costs at national, regional, and state levels. Once the survey has been administered and the results collected, the University of Kentucky will summarize the raw data from the survey into a comprehensive report for AMS.

This data collection effort directly addresses two priority needs identified in the USDA Internal Symposium on Science of Industrial Hemp (May 21, 2019). Specifically, to: (a) Identify data collection and reporting for hemp markets and (b) to determine break-even production costs and range and implications for market structure. The lack of production and economic data available for stakeholder and government decision-making within this emerging industry has been further documented in Mark et. al. 2020 and was highlighted in the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum (February 2020) hemp session with over 300 stakeholders in attendance. Ellison 2021 in conjunction with the S1084: Industrial Hemp Production, Processing, and Marketing conducted a Hemp National Needs survey and economics, and marketing information was a key area of need for the industry. Results from the survey were presented at the National Hemp Conference sponsored by USDA NIFA and Colorado State University (Summer 2020). With a newly emerging industry and no existing national data collection, to respond to the breadth of identified needs coordinated data collection efforts must be undertaken. This data collection is focused on economic data (primarily production costs) from the 2020 season. Development of the hybrid ( i.e. mail and online) survey instrument has been coordinated with USDA NASS.

Risks in the hemp market are high and rapidly changing, with consistent stakeholder demands for knowledge of economics and markets on which to base decisions. There is little to no information on demand for hemp derived products and market risks are exacerbated by lack of transparency and consistency in reporting. While several private or local sources of information have emerged, quality and costs for stakeholders are variable and requests for consistent unbiased national data from USDA continue. Economic data is also critical for national policymaking including rulemaking, risk management, and resource management. For example, data dependent research questions to address economic viability questions asked by stakeholders include competition for acreage (production alternatives), global competitiveness, equity and rural development, risk management, and market outlook (including alternative products and production systems).
 
Description of Respondents: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.
Number of Respondents: 20,000.
Frequency of Responses: Annually.
 
U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp
Hemp Survey submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202110-0581-002 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FR notice inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-03840
 
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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