The Colorado Department of Agriculture is introducing a new program aimed at bringing industrial hemp into mainstream agriculture. Seed produced and conditioned under this program will be issued "CDA Approved Certified Seed" tags through the Colorado Seed Growers Association (CSGA) if the production standards are met and then will be available for purchase through the developer.
"This program's first project is to grow hemp across Colorado's diverse growing conditions to ensure mature plants comply with hemp standards. This is the first certified hemp seed program in the country and the first-of-its-kind study in Colorado. We are on the cutting edge of this emerging industry and this new program can help shape the future of the hemp industry," said Duane Sinning, CDA's Division of Plant Industry assistant director.
The department will work in cooperation with Colorado State University and CSGA to provide breeding companies the opportunity to verify their seeds produce mature plants at or below the 0.3% THC threshold required to label the plant as "industrial hemp."
Seed varieties will be grown and tested in the northeast, southeast, Front Range, the San Luis Valley and on the Western Slope.
To participate in the industrial hemp trial, the legal owner of the seed genetics must submit all pertinent variety information to establish genetic ownership along with 5,000 seeds. It is anticipated that seed produced from approved low THC varieties and grown under the standards and rules of "CDA Approved Certified Seed" program may be available for the 2017 planting season.
Those interested in participating in the program should contact Terry Moran, CDA's seed certification specialist at Terry.Moran@state.co.us or 303-869-9078 by April 29.