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Four industrial hemp seed varieties approved by state

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Photo courtesy Colorado Department of Agriculture Industrial hemp under test cultivation in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is announcing that four industrial hemp seed varieties have passed the statewide THC validation and observation trial and are now eligible to be grown by the Colorado Seed Growers Association for production of "CDA Approved Certified Seed."

This year, the CDA Approved Certified Hemp seed program trialed four varieties of hemp across Colorado's diverse growing conditions to validate if they would prove to grow mature plants that fall within industrial hemp requirements set by Amendment 64 in the Colorado Constitution. State law requires that industrial hemp tests at or below 0.3 percent THC concentration on a dry weight basis. All varieties tested were accepted by the Colorado Seed Growers Association's Variety Review Board and these varieties passed the THC validation trials.

During the 2017 program, five varieties were reviewed and conditionally accepted by the Variety Review Board; of that, four varieties were entered by the participants in the trial and approved to be grown as a class of CDA Approved Certified seed:

• International Hemp Solutions/Bija See, Denver: repressenting Bialobrzeski Monoecious variety for hemp fiber/grain from the Polish Institute of Natural fibers; website www.bijahemp.com.

• New West Genetics, Fort Collins: representing Elite Dioecious variety for fiber/grain; website www.newwestgenetics.com.

• Schiavi Seeds, Lexigton, Kentucky: representing Beniko and Tygra. Both are monoecious varieties for hemp fiber/grain from The Polish Institute of Natural Fibers. Website is www.schiaviseeds.com.

Once approved through validation trials across Colorado's diverse growing environments, CDA approves the variety to be produced by the Colorado Seed Growers Association according to Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) standards and receive the CDA Approved Certified Seed label. The CDA worked in cooperation with the Colorado State University Research Centers and North Eastern Junior College during the growing process.

Seed varieties were grown and tested in the northeast, Arkansas Valley, Front Range, the San Luis Valley and on the Western Slope. These five locations with distinct differences in daytime and nighttime temperatures, in altitude, length of growing season, and soil types, provide the CDA with a broad representation of Colorado's growing conditions.

For seed availability please contact the seed companies listed. As per the DEA it is still federally illegal for hemp seed to cross state lines. In order for growers to document the planting of CDA approved seed, they must provide purchase order receipts and/or bag tags for CDA verification. The CDA Approved Certified seed program requires that all individual seed packages be tagged with both CDA tags and AOSCA or OECD official tags.

For questions concerning the Colorado hemp program, please visit CDA's Industrial Hemp web page and for information about how to enter a variety into the CDA Approved Certified Seed program, contact Terry Moran, industrial hemp certified seed specialist, at (303) 869-9078 or email Terry.moran@state.co.us.

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