BILLINGS — This fall, the USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service will mail its first Hemp Acreage & Production Survey. Montana’s state statistician Eric Sommer encourages growers to be on the lookout for the survey in their mailboxes starting this month.
“On October 18th, we’ll mail out the inaugural hemp survey, which is very exciting,” said Sommer. “This is the first survey and it's kind of going to be our benchmark for producers as an official place to find data. And it's going to include surveying both the indoor and outdoor producers of hemp.”
Farmers have only been growing hemp on a large scale since 2018, when the Domestic Hemp Production Program was established in the Farm Bill allowing for the cultivation of hemp under certain conditions. He says it’s encouraging to see the interest in hemp production continue to climb.
“It always amazes me how optimistic they are and how eager they are to embrace new things like new technology and crops,” said Sommer.
He says the survey will provide needed data about the hemp industry to help assist producers and others.
“This is how other government agencies and lending institutions base their numbers and programs to help producers,” said Sommer. “So, when we do have a horrible year like 2021, we know how to assess the damage, who needs help and who doesn't need help.”
Producers may complete the survey online at agcounts.usda.gov or they may complete and return the survey by mail using the return envelope provided. The survey will run October 18 through December 10th.
Learn more about the survey at nass.usda.gov/go/hemp.