Fiber Hemp Field Day set July 22 in Thrall will focus on best varieties for Texas

The annual Fiber Hemp Field Day will be July 22 at the Stiles Farm Foundation in Thrall. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service field day will discuss the merits of different hemp varieties in Central Texas. Participants can also view hemp varieties in the field.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon at the Stiles Farm Foundation headquarters, 5700 Farm-to-Market Road 1063.

Cost is $15. Register for this event at Participants may bring a lawn chair for their comfort.

“2022 marks our second year of the field day and our third planting of some of the most promising hemp fiber and grain cultivars for the southern Texas Blackland,” said Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension state hemp specialist, Lubbock.

Field test cultivars

The hemp study at the Stiles Farm is focused on monitoring plant variety characteristics, including observations of the general agronomy, floral development, and a determination of the yield of each variety sufficient for the needs of the fledgling hemp industry in Central Texas, explained Trostle.

“Of the 20-plus fiber varieties permitted for planting in Texas, we have selected a short list of the most promising cultivars to evaluate in field tests,” he said.

Trostle said the task at hand is to identify a short list of suitable hemp cultivars that will also perform across the much larger Texas geography.

“This event will give participants the first opportunity to observe and compare the most promising hemp cultivars,” he said.

Hemp experts

Gary Pastushok, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Williamson County, will host the morning portion of the event. The speakers will guide participants through the wants, needs, progress and future developments of industrial hemp.

Speakers include Trostle; Russell Jessup, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research industrial hemp breeder, Bryan-College Station; Randy Rivera, Texas Department of Agriculture director of ag commodity programs, Austin; and Lucas Evans, Founder of E3 Industries, hemp farmer/processor, Georgetown.

For more information contact Pastushok at [email protected] or call the AgriLife Extension office in Williamson County at 512-943-3300.