Overcoming challenges in relation to the use of hemp in feed

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Alistair Berg
© GettyImages/Alistair Berg

Related tags hemp

An upcoming webinar will address why hemp is not yet used in animal feed in the US.

The online event​ is being run on August 9 by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the US National Industrial Hemp Council of America (NIHC) and is aimed at executives in the US feed and hemp industries as well as regulatory experts.

Along with representatives of AAFCO and NIHC, the speakers come from a wide range of stakeholder organizations, including the Hemp Feed Coalition, the USDA, the FDA, the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, various US universities, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and others.

Those specialists will look at how to overcome challenges in relation to the use of hemp in feed and how to gain approval for use ingredients.

The organizers said the webinar will be divided into three parts to address priority topics:


Aug. 9, from 12-4 p.m. (EDT)

Part 1 - Scientific Research and Data, from 12:15-1:20 p.m. (EDT)

Part 2 - Ingredient Review and Approval, from 1:30-2:35 p.m. (EDT)

Part 3 - Interests and Concerns Everyone Is Facing, from 2:45-3:50 p.m. (EDT)


Virtually via Zoom

Each session will include five panelists answering questions and leading a dialog around their particular topic. Attendees can attend the webinar in full or just the part(s) that feel most relevant to their industries and interest.

Clarity needed

Interest in the use of hemp in commercial feed in the US has accelerated since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

While that legislation expanded the legal production of hemp in the US, the use of hemp in animal feed remains under the jurisdiction of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state regulatory programs for commercial animal feed.

The organizers say industry professionals are eager to get greater clarity around the use of hemp in feed and that they also want to collaborate on safe solutions.

Regulatory delays

The US Hemp Feed Coalition recently expressed frustration​ over what it perceives as unnecessary and costly holdups in US federal review of hemp feed ingredients. 

That not-for-profit group was reacting to an open letter​ from AAFCO and 17 industry and regulatory organizations to state agriculture leadership, calling on them to support greater education and scientific research to ensure the safety of hemp in feed prior to any federal or state approval.

The NIHC, which promotes the production and use of hemp both in North America and globally, subsequently issued a letter inviting AAFCO and industry professionals to collaborate to achieve safe solutions.

Ongoing research

Several universities in the US are currently evaluating the safety and efficacy of hemp and its byproducts in feed.

Researchers from Kansas State University were awarded a $200,000 federal USDA grant to study cannabinoid transference in the meat, milk, and eggs of hemp-fed animal byproducts in cattle feed.

In March 2021, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) granted nearly $300,000 to Oregon State University for research into feeding spent hemp biomass to cattle.

Related topics Regulation

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