Hemp could become a viable feed source for livestock operations in a few years. The Hemp Feed Coalition (HFC), a program of Friends of Hemp, is requesting that the Association of American Feed Control Officials and FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine approve the use of hemp byproducts in poultry feed.
In a 2019 survey, nearly 50 percent of farmers agreed they would use cannabis as animal feed, per Hemp Industry Daily. The nutritional content of hemp products may make them attractive to growers.
Hempseed meal is made up of roughly 30 percent protein and 10 percent fat, some of which are Omega 3s. Hemp feed also contains fiber, copper, iron, boron, zinc, manganese, and nitrogen.
American Veterinary Medical Association spokesman Michael San Filippo noted that research has shown favorable results in feed. However, more research is needed comparing hemp feed to traditional grains.
Hunter Buffington, a program director for HFC, stated the global hemp food market is projected to outpace the CBD market, and that there will be high-quality coproducts suitable for animal markets, per Feed Navigator.
Hemp products for human consumption include hemp seed oil, hulled seeds, or hearts, and protein powder, all of which have received GRAS designation.