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University of Tennessee Extension's 2020 Hemp Industry Survey

Cui, Xiurui "Iris" and S. Aaron Smith

No 304050, Extension Reports from University of Tennessee, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Abstract: In April 2020, University of Tennessee (UT) Extension conducted a survey of hemp growers and hemp industry stakeholders. The survey consisted of 16 questions to illicit opinions regarding 2019 and 2020 hemp production in Tennessee. The survey was emailed to UT county Extension agents, area specialists and state specialists to be distributed to producers and other hemp industry stakeholders. Survey results depict the answers and opinions of the 600 respondents who completed at least one survey question. The following information has been collected to show an overview of production, marketing and risk management practices used in the 2019 and 2020 production years. While readers can draw their own conclusions, our analysis of the results indicated that producers faced numerous challenges during the 2019 production year. Two of the largest challenges were securing a viable market or processor for their production and variation/uncertainty in pricing of the end product. On the positive side, in spite of a lack of established production methods, producers were able to successfully grow a crop, with average plant losses of only 19 percent and average yields per plant of 2.0 lb for biomass and 1.1 lb per plant for flower. Partially due to marketing challenges, the 2020 production level is anticipated to be lower than 2019. Additionally, due to bad experiences in 2019 with contracts, fewer growers are signing contracts with processors or purchasers. Despite the marketing challenges and a lack of regulatory clarity, many producers and stakeholders are willing to continue investing in the emerging hemp industry in Tennessee. The long-term structure and viability of the industrial hemp industry in Tennessee remains highly uncertain.

Keywords: Crop Production/Industries; Production Economics; Risk and Uncertainty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 14
Date: 2020-07-22
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.304050

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