The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is funding research projects aimed at “creating knowledge that will help make hemp a viable and lucrative crop in the U.S.”

According to a NIFA press release, the organization has invested over $20 million in fiscal 2021 and 2022 years for hemp-related research. 

“From large multistate efforts to grants supporting small businesses developing innovative technologies, these projects are seeking to develop the know-how that will help producers, processors, regulators and officials make the best decisions about cultivating industrial hemp,” NIFA stated in the release.

According to the release, NIFA is funding four projects aimed at looking at the economic opportunities and risks associated with cultivating hemp. These projects will be led by professors and researchers at North Carolina A&T University, Bay Mills Community College in Michigan, Oregon State University and the University of Vermont.

NIFA is also assisting projects focused on filling the gaps around the knowledge of hemp production in the U.S. These projects will be conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky, the University of California, Rutgers University in New Jersey, Auburn University in Alabama, Utah State University and Cornell University in New York.

In addition, NIFA is funding a handful of other projects that explore ways to “extract value from the plant beyond its traditional utilizations,” according to the release. These projects will be led by researchers at Central State University in Ohio, North Carolina A&T University and Oregon State University.

To read more about each research project, click here.