There’s a lot of discussion about the potential for hemp to be used in animal feed. While there are some animal feed products on the market that claim to use hemp, its use in animal nutrition is not legal.
The Hemp Feed Coalition is seeking legal approval from AAFCO and the FDA-CVM for animal producers to use hemp in animal diets. According to the Coalition, the biggest barrier is a lack of research.
“Most farmers who have been producing hemp do not test their crops for nutritional components, focusing instead on compliance,” Hunter Buffington of the Hemp Feed Coalition said in a press release. “The analysis needed for the animal feed industry and regulators goes far beyond THC concentration both in information and expense. To accurately understand the nutritional value of hemp we have to create a body of analysis that shows the amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in hemp and its by-products. We also need enough data to show any potential genetic or environmental differences that result in different nutrient profiles.”
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The Coalition is looking for hemp growers willing to do component analysis of their crops and farmers willing to conduct clinical feed trials, including hemp.
“We must have three independent studies, with three rations and a minimum of 30 individuals to complete the trial for each species,” Buffington said. “In addition to the three rations the animals must also be harvested and tested for cannabinoid concentration, meat, egg or milk quality and potential toxicity.”
This year, the coalition gathered 14 proposals from eight Universities that wanted to do research on six species. One of these, a two-year study on lambs at Colorado State University using hempseed meal has been completely funded.
For more information about the Hemp Feed Coalition, visit https://www.bggives.org/friendsofhemp.