The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) released a new report on Minnesota’s burgeoning hemp marketplace. The report, "Building an Industrial Hemp Industry in Minnesota," is an educational resource for stakeholders, defining opportunities and challenges driving business in this revitalized industry.
The interest and demand for hemp has increased steadily with the identification of new uses in food, cosmetic and beauty products and the cannabidiol (CBD) extract market, AURI said, noting that hemp’s popularity skyrocketed further upon the passage of the 2018 farm bill.
The legislation opened the door for growers and processors to more directly engage, participate and profit in the hemp industry. However, because several decades have passed since the growing and processing of hemp last took place in the U.S., there are significant gaps in knowledge, necessitating education, process/market validation and innovation in order to build the industry up to its true potential, AURI said.
AURI’s new hemp report aims to help fill those gaps. AURI conducted more than a year-and-a-half of research and networking to develop a thorough report of the hemp industry, identifying how a marketplace for the product may flourish in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. This research document serves as a resource and guide to further success for the state’s bourgeoning industry and its stakeholders, the announcement said.
The report identifies several areas of product opportunities for hemp in food, fuel, fiber, feed and CBD. In addition, the research identifies several pathways for markets in various sectors, potential supply and demand synergies and infrastructure needs necessary to expand markets in Minnesota.
This report is one facet of AURI’s involvement and support of the state’s growing hemp industry. AURI said it will continue to dedicate its applied research, innovation networks and hands-on scientific assistance services to bolster entrepreneurs, value-added partners and the hemp landscape at large. Specifically, economic investment in the market requires analysis to determine specific pathways for projects to reach their potential for commercialization.
For example, in a feed value chain overview, AURI said hemp co-products such as hemp cake, hemp hulls and the high-protein hemp flower and stem can provide an excellent source of protein and energy to help support the growing livestock industry.
However, in the overview, AURI noted that additional work is necessary to achieve American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) certification for hemp and its co-products in order to be legally marketed as an animal feed. Also, work is necessary in the pet food industry with hemp-derived products. AURI said its latest update is that hemp products marketed as animal feed are at least two years away from becoming a reality.
“We are very proud to publish this comprehensive hemp report. This is an exciting time for hemp in the agriculture community in our state. We at AURI encourage entrepreneurs and business sectors to use the knowledge in this report and contact us for assistance,” AURI executive director Shannon Schlecht said.
For a full overview of the AURI hemp report, visit AURI’s website.
AURI’s mission is to foster long-term economic benefit through value-added agricultural products. It accomplishes this by using science and technology to help develop new uses for agricultural products. It partners with businesses and entrepreneurs to generate economic impact in Minnesota communities by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areas: bio-based products, renewable energy, co-products and food. AURI provides a broad range of services, including applied research and development, scientific assistance and a targeted network of resources to develop value-added uses for crops and co-products.