holding hemp with insects on plant

Extension & Outreach

The UConn Hemp Extension and Outreach Program assists commercial hemp producers by providing information on production techniques and pest management. The program emphasizes healthy soils, balanced plant nutrition, pest identification, and preventative management strategies. We offer training and field visits for hemp growers. We are currently working with 14 of the 140 licensed hemp growers in the state to support the growth on their 20+ acres of planted crops.

156 acres of planted

140 licensed growers

hemp leaf under microscope in lab

What is Hemp?

Federal law defines hemp as: "The plant species Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis." 

Hemp production in Connecticut is regulated by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.

 

Education Initiatives

UConn Extension is the premier outreach education program for agricultural producers in Connecticut. Extension programs are in all 169 municipalities of the state. Our hemp education initiatives are based on the needs of the growers and adapt as the industry evolves. Educators work collaboratively with growers, other Extension professionals, and regulatory agencies to address issues facing hemp growers.

UConn Extension partnered with USDA NRCS, the Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development, Department of Agriculture, and Connecticut Hemp Industry Association to organize the 2021 Connecticut Hemp webinar series from January to May of 2021 (total of six webinars). The goal of the conference was to bring together hemp producers, agricultural suppliers, and regulatory agencies interested in the hemp industry. The conference covered hemp growing from seed to harvest outdoor and indoor, basics of hemp processing, hemp regulations, and insect pest and disease management. The webinar series was attended by total of 151 current and prospective hemp growers (on average 25 attendees per webinar). The recordings are available on CT RC&D website.

hemp growing in eastern Connecticut
Shuresh Ghimire in hemp field in eastern Connecticut

Leading in Cannabis Outreach Education

We offer on-farm and online education for hemp growers statewide. Dr. Shuresh Ghimire, our vegetable crops Extension educator, walks us through a hemp field in eastern Connecticut to learn about insect and disease scouting. Hemp growers can apply these practices in their own fields. The major insect pests and diseases of hemp in Connecticut are:

  • European corn borers
  • Corn earworm
  • Aphids
  • Western black flea beetles
  • Japanese beetle
  • Leafminer
  • Mites
  • Grasshoppers
  • Septoria leaf spot
  • Bipolaris leaf spot (suspected)
  • Gray mold
  • White mold

Ongoing Education

We have organized several meetings for hemp growers, including a workshop in 2019, and the 2020 Connecticut Hemp Conference with our partners at USDA NRCS and CT RC&D. The conference covered healthy soils practices, local policy and regulations, Connecticut field trial results, as well as innovative production markets. The event was a valuable resource for local producers and farmers who are seeking connections in the state as well as knowledge about local issues and opportunities. Register for our hemp grower email list.

hauling hemp on trailer

Accurate testing for licensed growers through UConn’s Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering (CESE).

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Connect with an Educator

Need help from a UConn researcher or extension educator? Connect with us for resources and expertise to assist industry or licensed growers.

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