Panda Biotech is donating 60 tons of approved hemp fiber seed to Texas farmers hoping they will provide basic data about the crops. Although farmers are not required to provide data to receive the seed, all producers providing data will receive a free report generated from the promotion.
The promotion is developed in coordination with the Texas Industrial Hemp Council to help farmers experiment with, and gain experience from, their first trial hemp crops. Scott Evans, executive vice president of Panda Biotech, said the firm is giving away the seed because the company is “confident in American-grown hemp fiber’s potential to revolutionize several industries.”
“We are literally seeding Texas’ industrial hemp industry. … We’re making this donation to help ignite a new industry where Texas has the potential to be a global leader, and having access to real-world data is a necessary first step for that to occur.” – Evans in a statement
Panda will provide the data from farmers to Texas A&M AgriLife which will conduct the research and publish the report to share with participants.
Eloise Frischkorn, chairperson of the Texas Industrial Hemp Council, said the organization expects Texas to become “the nation’s leader in hemp production,” adding that “there is much yet to learn about how hemp will respond to Texas soil.”
“Panda is being farsighted in partnering with our farmers to help get our Texas hemp industry kickstarted,” she said in a press release. “Their generosity will put the state’s agricultural producers in a great position for the 2021 season.”
The distribution of the free seed began yesterday in Lubbock. Growers can test with as little seed as they want or up to 25-acres worth of seed, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Producers may use the resulting industrial hemp crop for any purpose they choose except for seed reproduction for 2021.
Panda announced plans last year to build the largest industrial hemp processing facility in the U.S. – the Panda High Plains Hemp Gin – in Shallowater which they expect to process 130,000 tons of industrial hemp annually of fiber, and cellulose. The company estimates that the two lines could generate $30 million per year for the state’s agricultural producers.