Reintroduction of Hemp to New York


Morrisville State College is a leader in New York’s dynamic and evolving economy by pioneering the reintroduction of hemp to New York State.

The college has dedicated more than 80 acres of farmland for the experimentation of growing hemp as a commercial crop, following Morrisville’s historic 2016 production of New York State’s first industrial hemp crop in more than 80 years through a research partnership with JD Farms, in Eaton, NY.   

This commitment allows Morrisville students and faculty to conduct applied research on an emerging commodity.


Why grow industrial hemp?

Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive drug that its cousin, marijuana, is known for. Instead, hemp is known for its heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and the fact that it is one of the only plants that is a complete protein source.

The United States already imports nearly $600 million worth of industrial hemp annually for a variety of uses. The stalk and seed from hemp can be used in food and the production of a variety of goods, including building materials, fuel, paper, animal bedding, biodiesel fuel and consumer products.


Morrisville State College Research

  • Seed and fiber yield response to nitrogen fertilizer - By determining the precise hemp crop requirement, MSC plans to maximize crop potential, reduce production costs and minimize the environmental footprint.
  • Pest identification and management - As a new crop to the region, MSC’s research will help increase awareness of threats to the crop grown in New York, identify economic thresholds for pest populations, target pest management to improve crop production and minimize environmental impact.
  • Hemp fiber crop potential - When hemp is harvested for seed, the remaining stalk is still harvestable, providing a second product to sell from one crop (both seed and fiber) for increased profits. MSC’s research aims to determine the quality of the residual fiber and appropriate uses for this material, such as for animal bedding, wall board production and other building materials.


On the horizon

  • Participants will be solicited for a nitrogen yield response study across the state, which will include 10 farms growing 10 acres each for the 2018 growing season.
  • Student involvement will include a small-scale independent study greenhouse project to evaluate the benefit of a commercial soil amendment on the production of hemp, as well as participation of the field crops class in harvesting and analyzing the nitrogen plot study.

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