The USDA agency responsible for producing official data on U.S agriculture has released results of the 2021 Hemp Acreage and Production Survey.
Wanting to get a clearer picture on the producer end of the nation’s hemp industry, USDA kicked off its first related survey last year. Data collection began in October and concluded in December 2021 with a sample of 20,501 growers.
The survey found 54,152 acres of industrial hemp was planted last year out in the open and the total area harvested was 33,480 acres, while the area grown under protection was 15.6 million square feet.
Combined, the total value of hemp production for 2021 was $824 million – $712 million for crops grown out in the open and $112 million for those under protection.
The value of flower production (primarily used for CBD extraction) claimed the lion’s share at $623 million – 19.7 million pounds produced, 15.7 million pounds harvested from an estimated area of 15,980 acres. Hemp seed for the grain market was valued at just $5.99 million (4.37 million pounds produced, 3.96 million pounds utilised).
Hemp grown for the seed market (cultivation) was harvested from 3,515 acres, with 1.86 million pounds of seed produced, 1.68 million pounds utilised and with a value of $41.5 million.
On the hemp fibre side of things, 33.2 million pounds was grown and 27.6 million pounds utilised at a value of $41.4 million. The report notes 12,690 acres was dedicated to hemp fibre, which averaged production of 2,620 pounds per acre.
The states with the largest harvested areas for crops grown out in the open were Montana with 4,500 acres, followed by Colorado (3,100 acres) and California (2,250 acres).
Colorado was a particularly interesting case – it had the largest planted area at 10,100 acres and it works out less than a third of that area was harvested.
In terms of farmers, there were a lot of newbies to not just hemp, but farming in general. 58% had less than 5 years’ experience in any sort of farming, 10% with 6-10 years under their belt and 32% with 11 years or more.
“The release of this landmark report provides a needed benchmark about hemp production to assist producers, regulatory agencies, state governments, processors, and other key industry entities,” said National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Administrator Hubert Hamer.
The full National Hemp Report can be accessed here.