107917 Does Industrial Hemp Have Potential As a Forage?.
Poster Number 704
Monday, October 23, 2017
Tampa Convention Center, East Exhibit Hall
The recent legalization of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) in many states has led to many questions among producers about its suitability as a forage. Evidence of its potential is virtually nonexistent in the literature and the goal of this research was to quantify the relationship between yield and forage nutritive value for industrial hemp and kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus). As with most forage crops, CP and IVDMD declined as the season progressed while yield increased until the initiation of flowering. Harvest of kenaf and industrial hemp grown for fiber must be made shortly after planting to preserve forage nutritive value due to their fibrous nature. While this may preclude their use as a traditional forage, these may have potential as a short-season “emergency” forage. The presence of grain helped buffer the loss in forage nutritive value that occurs with plant maturity. However, grain varieties of industrial hemp were limiting in forage yield. Future research is planned to increase the yield of grain in industrial hemps used as a forage through optimization of its agronomic management.
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