Texas University Awarded USDA Grant to Study Hemp as Animal Feed

Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) in Texas has received a nearly $300,000 grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the use of hemp as animal feed.

Full story after the jump.

Agricultural scientists at Texas’ Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) have received a $299,162 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to study the use of hemp as animal feed.   

The three-year study will be conducted by research scientists from the university’s Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Human Ecology and will focus on the nutritional profile of industrial hemp plant biomass byproducts, and their impact on goats, to determine if hemp biomass can serve as a viable alternative feed that could reduce the use of grain in animal feed, which consumes about 36% of the world’s grain supply.  

The research will be led by Dr. Negusse Kidane, Ph.D., assistant professor and research scientist in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Human Ecology, who said in a statement that the study will involve six multi-disciplinary scientists from PVAMU’s academic and research programs which he said, “demonstrates the team’s commitment to partnership and efficient use of resources.”  

“The project also fosters academic and industrial collaboration, such as with goat producers, hemp farmers, and hemp processing industries across Texas. Given the breadth and scope of the study, a collaborative approach is indispensable for the success of this proposed project, requiring synergistic efforts from scientists in multiple disciplines.” — Kidane in a press release  

Dr. Magesh Rajan, PVAMU vice president of research and innovation, added that the grant “represents a significant milestone” in the college’s “pursuit of innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture.”  

“By exploring the potential of hemp as an alternative to traditional grain in animal feed, our researcher will spearhead groundbreaking research that not only addresses pressing environmental challenges but also contributes to the advancement of animal nutrition,” Rajan said in a statement. 

The proposal is titled proposal titled “Evaluating the Nutritional Profile of Industrial Hemp Farm-Byproducts and Extraction Residues as Alternative Feed Resources for Goats.” The funds were awarded through the USDA’s Capacity Building Grants program. 

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