To unlock the potential of hemp as a cash crop, the researchers in Oregon are raising questions regarding the results of feeding cannabis to sheep, chickens, and cows.
The hemp sector in Oregon deals basically in the two main cannabidiol products– oil and specialized smokable flowers. Furthermore, the growers in the region deal in the CBD oil market and hire processors to extract oil from hemp. However, such a long procedure leaves a huge amount of unused plant material behind. Right now, the left material has only a little biomass value.
“Nobody knows what to do with that material…. So if you just utilize this as an animal feed, it’s going to really be a cheap source of another feed for the animals,’ said Serkan Ates, who teaches in the Animal and Rangeland Sciences Department at Oregon State University.
The OSU scientists are exploring whether or not such spent hemp biomass be used as feed to pottery animals, dairy cows, or sheep. However, the global hemp innovation center has collaborated with OSU scientists to work on this topic.
In recent years, Ates and his team have been conducting research trials facilitating a distinct amount of animal feed for hemp in cows and lamps. Furthermore, these are also examining the impact of hemp on the growth of the animal, its behavior, and health. In addition, they are also examining whether any THC lingers in the animal system or not.
“The material is available. We have a lot of cattle in Oregon, a lot of dairy farms. Not so many sheep, but we still also have sheep, too. So technically we should be able to feed this material to those livestock,” Ates said.
However, the conclusion from such studies will pave a new path for several lucrative growth opportunities and will further widen the scope of the global market that’s gotten off to a rocky start.
However, after the full legalization of the growth of industrial hemp in the United States in 2018, Oregon growers and processors are likely to get benefits in both hands. In some areas, they found unprecedented obstructions and challenges.
Thousands of acres of land were converted for the purpose of hemp production. In addition, the Rock Valley in Southern Oregon holds the highest concentration of hemp growing in the country.
In 2019, around 64000 offline was licensed under the name of the Oregon department of agriculture. But due to the unfavorable weather condition in the areas, most of the crop was damaged by the end of the season. Still, the markets regionally were flooded with hemp.
Also, amid such volatility, the growers and industry leaders are looking forward to a stabilization that can help them get an idea of how big the hemp could be.