Industry-Sponsored Research Week
University-Industry Engagement Advisor

CBD company and U Florida launch pilot program in hemp research

By David Schwartz
Published: April 9th, 2019

Green Roads, the U.S.’s largest private producer of hemp-derived CBD products, is putting up $1.3 million to sponsor a hemp research program at the University of Florida’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences. The South Florida-based company has also donated and coordinated delivery of the first certified hemp plants to be brough into the state of Florida in 70 years, and its “hemp grow” experts will be working alongside UF scientists at four dedicated research and education facilities.

“These initial 50 plants — the first to prep, propagate and plant in the state — will set a new, exciting frontier that positions Florida for great economic advantage for generations to come,” predicted Arby Barroso, co-founder of Green Roads. “Our company’s investment in financial and expert resources to support the University of Florida is all about protecting both farmers and consumers and doing this research is paramount in accomplishing that mutual goal.”

“Through our collaboration with Green Roads and the state of Florida, we look forward to generating the science to make hemp a dynamic industry in Florida,” added Dr. Roger Kjelgren, director of UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC). “Now that Green Roads has provided IFAS with the initial pilot plants, the real work starts as we propagate plants in preparation for late spring field plantings. We must research how much light, water and nutrients are needed to efficiently produce hemp for wise resource use and optimum yield.”

The pilot program is designed to determine whether industrial hemp can be a successful and sustainable crop for Florida farmers. UF/IFAS scientists will study the hemp varieties suitable for planting in the state, develop industrial hemp management practices and cropping systems, and assess hemp invasion risk in Florida’s natural and greenhouse environments.

“This is truly a monumental moment for farmers,” said Barroso. “This research will allow farming family legacies to continue and thrive with its youngest generations and birth new opportunities for others. Additionally, it will increase agricultural jobs across the state and launch and/or grow industries that support the farmers and those utilizing their crops for product development, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and sales.”

According to Barroso, Green Roads invests in research by such prestigious institutions as UF to ensure an ample supply of highest quality hemp-based extracts and by-products for production of consumer products and other applications that include such industries as clothing, textiles, bioplastics, building/construction materials, food and beverage, forage, paints, inks, and papers.

Source: AP News

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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