A brand new seed bank is planned for development at Cornell University, and it could be ready within the next five years. They call the facility the “Industrial Hemp Germplasm Depot”. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) provided $500,000 in funding for Cornell to host the only U.S. hemp seed bank on its AgriTech campus in Geneva, New York.
Hemp cultivars planned for development in a new seed bank at Cornell University could be ready within five years.
With the construction, they call the facility the “Industrial Hemp Germplasm Depot”. Cornell will host the only U.S. hemp seed bank on its AgriTech campus in Geneva, New York.
Bring the germplasm
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) provided $500,000 in funding for the project. USDA-ARS will maintain the germplasm and collaborate with Cornell University, with whom they already partner for research. The Repository will also work with farmers as it develops potent and pest-resistant new cultivars.
“Root” of crop health
“The more germplasm scientists have access to, the greater the likelihood that we will produce plants that are useful, whether for pest management or specific climates,” said Larry Smart, a professor in the Horticulture Section at Cornell School. Integrative Plant Sciences (SIPS). He said they need the hemp deposit to get to the root of crop health. Also, it’s a must to provide better resources to New York hemp producers.
Hemp backed in New York
The new seed bank will also benefit U.S. producers. They are developing varieties that grow well under different conditions, said Christine Smart, SIPS professor of Plant Pathology and Plant Microbial Biology.
New York officials have supported the reintroduction of hemp in the state. They point to its potential to improve the fortunes of upstate farmers.
The U.S. government destroyed its last remaining stockpile of hemp seeds in the 1980s under federal laws that banned harvesting. Hemp returned to the U.S. as a legal crop with last year’s passage of Farm Bill 2018.
(Featured Image by Deviyahya)
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