UF/IFAS Hemp Program On-Farm Trial Partner Application Due Today

Clint Thompson Florida, Hemp, Top Posts

Zack Brym/University of Florida

File picture of rows of hemp production.

The University of Florida/IFAS Hemp Program is seeking qualified partners across the state to permit 20 farms for on-farm trials. The application link has been extended with late submissions due tonight by 11:59 p.m.

Partner farms will conduct a coordinated field planting on two acres with variations in land preparation. Partners will also have the opportunity to submit a plan industry development research on an additional three acres.

Application Details

Applications will only be accepted through the online form up to the late submission deadline. Only submissions through this online application form will be considered by the review panel. Past submission attempts via email using draft application or permit forms will not be considered. Applications for nurseries or indoor production facilities will not be accepted for this application period.

You must complete the application in one session. You can advance through the form without answering the questions (after answering question 1) to review the application questions before completing submission.

Recommended preparation for application

  • You will need a Google account to upload images required for the application.
  • Draft and/or log your answers in a separate file on your computer as a backup in case of technical difficulties. 
  • Select a contiguous 2-to-5 acre field. Obtain GPS coordinates for the center of the field and annotated satellite image (.JPG, .PDF).
  • You may also permit an on-site propagation facility (e.g., greenhouse, shadehouse, high tunnel). Obtain separate GPS coordinates and annotated satellite image (.JPG, .PDF).
  • Identify farm supervisor and contact information.
  • Identify additional personnel by name and positions.
  • Consider limited access control points, storage capacity, and environmental containment procedures. You will have 500 characters to describe each of these points.
  • Determine your farm soil and source of water.
  • Consider the availability of irrigation and cultivation equipment.
  • Reflect on your farming experience, research experience, and industry engagement. You will have 1000 characters to describe each of these points.
  • Design an industry development plan for up to three acres. This is optional. You have 5000 characters to detail the goals and methods of the plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will selected farms hear back about selection? What will the permitting process be like? When is the expected planting date?
About two weeks for initial response. The first round of applications are currently with the review panel. Late submissions will follow shortly. It is my goal to make selection recommendations late next week to UF/IFAS Research for approval the following week. Selection announcements and permitting procedures will be handled through UF/IFAS Research. My goal is to have permits in place and farms ready to plant mid to late May.

Why are you asking partners to pay?
The main objective of this on-farm trial is to establish a network of knowledgeable farmers and industry professionals associated with rigorous research trials. The UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project needs the support of the industry and generous donors to complete that work. We will be asking partner farms and others in the community to contribute to the program through a volunteer donation.

Will partners be able to sell hemp produced during the trial?
I do not know yet but am getting closer to a situation that would make that possible. If the crop was to be sold it will likely be done so through a commercial cultivation permit from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services linked to the research permit. So, given that situation, we expect partner farms to also obtain a commercial permit for the trial field.

Where will we get seed or hemp material to plant?
This is another area of uncertainty. I am working many angles for exactly where seed or plants come from and how or if it will be paid for. I ask a question of applicants to describe relationships with hemp genetics companies and possible acquisition scenarios through those relationships. Regardless, seed and plant material acquisition will have to be routed through UF/IFAS Research.