Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Jun 15, 2020
Project End Date
Jun 14, 2024
Grant Year
Project Director
Yanni, S.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Land Grant
Non Technical Summary
The hypothesis being considered is that industrial hemp can be a viable crop and raw material to support the prosperity of Michigan tribal communities and the State of Michigan, but additional research-based information is needed to support stakeholder decision-making. Our proposed project will draw on the relevant and complimentary expertise of Bay Mills Community College, Michigan State University, Lake Superior State University, and the Little Traverse Bay of Odawa Indians to help facilitate the successful adoption of hemp by Michigan tribal communities via the following objectives:Conduct hemp variety trials at three locations in Brimley, Chatham, and Harbor Springs, Michigan to assess growth, yield and quality of available commercial grain/fiber and CBD hemp varieties under local conditions.Evaluate variety plots for the presence of insect pests and pathogens to gauge susceptibility.Conduct a replicated study to examine the efficacy of cultivation, synthetic mulch and cover crops (living mulch) as weed control tools under Michigan conditions.Analyze plant material resulting from these trials for cannabinoid content, grain and fiber quality to determine regulatory compliance and economic value.Gather and disseminate information on potential opportunities and challenges related to hemp production and utilization by tribal communities and partners in Michigan through participatory discussion sessions.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Knowledge Area
205 - Plant Management Systems;

Subject Of Investigation
1730 - Hemp;

Field Of Science
1060 - Biology (whole systems);
Goals / Objectives
Our overall goal is to leverage the partnership between BMCC, MSU, LSSU and LTBB to enhance our combined capacity for applied research on hemp that answers these questions, while giving American Indian students at BMCC and LSSU better prospects for employment and educational achievement by engaging them in this work.The major objectivesof this project are to determine:1. how can tribal communities comply with USDA and FDA hemp regulations while maintaining sovereignty2. what hemp products (grain, fiber, CBD) will be most agronomically successful and profitable3. what hemp cultivars are most appropriate for our geography/climate/soils in northern Michigan4. how can pests be controlled using non-chemical or USDA organic methods5. how should analysis, processing and marketing of hemp materials be conducted to maximize their value
Project Methods
Conduct hemp variety trials at three locations in Brimley, Chatham and Harbor Springs, MI to assess growth, yield and quality of available commercial grain/fiber and CBD hemp varieties under local conditions.Two variety trials to assess a) grain/fiber and b) CBD production and quality will be conducted in Brimley, MI at BMCC WBF, in Chatham, MI at MSU UPREC and in Harbor Springs, MI at ZF in years one and two. Each trial will include 7-10 adapted hemp varieties.All variety trials will use USDA organic practices for fertility and pest management, although only the UPREC location in USDA certified.The experimental design for all locations will be a randomized complete block design with four replications.Soil samples will be taken before planting and subjected to routine chemical analysis. Fertilization practices will follow industry standards, typically 84 and 168 kg N ha-1 for grain/fiber and CBD production respectively, with P and K maintained in the "high" range of standard soil tests for wheat. Planting populations will be 50 kg ha-1 for grain/fiber and 2000 plants acre-1 for CBD, adjusted based on germination testing and expected mortality. Row spacing will be 7 inches for grain/fiber and 40 inches for CBD varieties, with 4 feet between CBD plants in-row.Grain and fiber will be harvested at physiological maturity following standard drying and storage protocols. CBD harvest will occur at the milky-white trichome stage.Post-harvest measures of aboveground biomass, gain, fiber and flower yield will be collected. Grain quality will be evaluated based on oil content and fatty acid composition. Flower quality will be evaluated based on CBD concentration.Evaluate variety plots for the presence of insects pests and pathogens to gauge susceptibility.The variety trail plots will be scouted regularly for the presence of insect pests and plant disease. The BMCC trial will be scouted by WBF staff with assistance from faculty and students affiliated with BMCC and LSSU science programs. The MSU trial will be scouted by technical staff at UPREC with assistance from MSU Extension interns. The LTTB trial will be scouted by staff at ZF with assistance from LTTB community members. Each hemp variety will be rated for the severity of insect and disease infestations and subsequent damage caused by these pests. Insect and disease samples will be collected and forwarded to the MSU Plant Diagnostic Lab for positive identification. Severe insect or disease infestations will be treated with EPA exempt or newly approved pesticides to collect preliminary data on their efficacy.Conduct a replicated study to examine the efficacy of cultivation, synthetic mulch and cover crops (living mulch) as weed control tools under MI conditions.We will conduct a replicated study at UPREC in year two to compare three methods of non-chemical weed control in CBD hemp. Our treatments will include 1) a weedy control, 2) mechanical cultivation, 3) synthetic plastic mulch, and 4) a white clover living mulch. The experimental design will be a randomized complete block design with four replications. Plots will be 4 ft. wide by 16 ft. long. Planting population will be 2000 plants acre-1 with a row spacing of 40 inches and 4 feet between plants in-row. Seedlings will be grown from seed on-site in our greenhouse and transplanted at the three leaf stage. All plots will be drip irrigated as needed to maintain sufficient soil moisture.Our weedy control treatment will not be weeded at all during the growing season. Synthetic black plastic mulch will be installed in plots exposed to that treatment prior to transplanting. The mechanical cultivation treatment will be cultivated weekly, as weather allows, using tractor mounted implements and/or hand hoeing to maintain a weed-free condition until canopy closure. The white clover living mulch treatment will be broadcast seeded and lightly incorporated at the time of transplanting.Weed counts and biomass will be collected from three ¼ meter-squared quadrats in each plot at transplanting, four, eight and twelve weeks post transplanting. CBD harvest will occur at the milky-white trichome stage using hand labor. Post-harvest measures of aboveground crop biomass and flower yield will be collected. Flower quality will be evaluated based on CBD concentration. Along with agronomic yield and crop quality measures, additional measures will include plant population, height and days to maturity.Analyze plant material resulting from these trials for cannabinoid content, grain and fiber quality to determine regulatory compliance and economic value.For the proposed study, applicable MDARD, ASTM, and/or AOAC standard methods will be followed by LSSU faculty and students in the Cannabis Chemistry program to analyze flower samples for the Cannabinoids, residual pesticide and trace metals. An Agilent 7800 ICP-MS will be used in a multi-element metals analysis. Samples will be microwave digested. An Agilent 1260 Liquid Chromatograph system will be used for potency analysis and regulatory compliance targeting approximately eleven cannabinoid compounds. Samples will be solvent extracted and purified using solid phase extraction. An Agilent 1290 Ultra-High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph with a 6470 Tandem Mass Spectrometer (LC-MS/MS) and Agilent 8890 Gas Chromatograph with 7010B Tandem Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS/MS) will be used to analyze for residual pesticides. Certified reference materials will also be prepared using the same method for each analysis to verify that the extraction was complete and confirm analyte recovery.Grain and fiber quality of hemp resulting from our trials will be assessed by staff at UPREC and partners at MSU. Hemp grain will be analyzed for protein and oil content using Near Infrared Spectroscopy. Quality of hemp fiber will be gauged based on stem diameter, lignin content, bast to hurd ratio, fiber strength and fineness after dew retting and hand breaking.Gather and disseminate information on potential opportunities and challenges related to hemp production and utilization by tribal communities and partners in Michigan through participatory discussion sessions.Stakeholder meetings facilitated will be held at BMCC in Brimley, MI to engage Michigan tribal leadership in dialogue regarding potential opportunities and challenges related to hemp production and utilization in their communities. Two meetings will occur, one during the winter between years one and two, and another the following winter. We will invite 20-30 representatives of Michigan Tribal Communities to each meeting including tribal council members, elders, growers, policy developers, law enforcement, etc.For these full-day events, we will use a modified "fishbowl in the field" protocol (Cranford & Kleinschmit, 2007).Each meeting will begin with an opportunity for the target audience to engage in a facilitated discussion while our team only listens. Participants will be asked to share their initial thoughts on hemp and the products derived from it, how they see hemp potentially contributing to economic prosperity and sovereignty for Michigan tribes, and the best path forward to pursue opportunities related to hemp. These discussions will be followed by educational presentations featuring overviews of current research on hemp, including our field trials associated with this project. During the afternoon, facilitated discussions will resume with our team joining stakeholders in a conversation on how tribal communities can learn more about or begin to implement hemp policy or production in the future.The second meeting in year two will include presentation of updated information resulting from any regulatory developments, changes across the Michigan hemp industry at-large and our research. We will again facilitate dialogue with stakeholders, asking them to share how they have incorporated or acted on information offered during the first session a year earlier.

Progress 06/15/20 to 06/14/21

Target Audience:The target audience for this project includes: Tribal College students Tribal College science faculty and land-grant staff 1862 faculty, staff, and students Tribal Nation leadership Tribal Nation agriculture staff Tribal and non-Tribal farmers Changes/Problems:Due to theCOVID-19 pandemic project staff travel to conferences was restrictedand some project staff travel to research sites was limited. Some of the planned social science activitieswith TribalNations was also restricted. An additional research site was added and Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College was added as a projectpartner. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Collaborators on the Hemp TRIM project have had opportunities for professional development through executing and sharing the research reported here, as well as through attending formal training events. The project team has met regularly throughout the last two years to share knowledge, skills and experiences. These meetings have occurred formally via Zoom and informally in the field and lab while conducting the research. Collaborators have gained significant new knowledge in hemp research methodologies, hemp agronomy, pest management, regulatory/quality testing, harvest and post-harvest handling. Team members have also attended and presented at the following professional development events during the project period (* indicates presentations given): Midwest iHemp Expo* iHemp Happy Hour podcast series* Midwest Hemp Council podcast series* Science of Hemp Conference* Indigenous Hemp Conference NCR Hemp IPM Working Group meetings Intertribal Ag Council: Food Sovereignty Symposium (postponed until May 2022)* How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Results of our project have been disseminated in written reports, presentations, websites and videos: Written reports 2020 CBD Variety Trial Report 2020 Grain/Fiber Variety Trial Report 2021 Variety Trial Reports (forthcoming) Presentations Midwestern Hemp Council podcast series and conference May 14, 2020 Midwest iHemp Expo Jan 22, 2021 Presentation to LTBB Tribal Council March 11, 2021 Presentation to SCIT Tribal Council March 17, 2021 iHemp Happy Hour podcast series April 1, 2021 Presentation to BMIC Tribal Council April 12, 2021 Science of Hemp Conference Nov 19, 2021 Presentation to Wiisinidaa Mnomiijim "Let's Eat Good Food" Coalition Dec 9, 2021 Intertribal Ag Council: Food Sovereignty Symposium (postponed until May 2022) Websites Midwestern Hemp Database Website MSU Hemp Website Videos CBD Hemp Trial June 17, 2020 Hemp Trial Update 2020 CBD hemp harvest October 13, 2020 Hemp Trial Planting 2021 Transplanting CBD Hemp June 10, 2021 What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?In 2022, we plan to repeat the hemp variety trials at all four locations. In addition to these trials, we plan to focus on community engagement during the coming year, which the COVID-19 pandemic has previously curtailed. This will involve discussion sessions held in each of the collaborating communities, and with other Michigan tribes as appropriate. The Hemp TRIM team will solicit input from Native growers, entrepreneurs, and leaders regarding their needs and interests related to hemp. The project team will also share what we have learned through our research regarding hemp agronomy, pest management, regulatory/quality testing, harvest, post-harvest handling, processing and marketing.

What was accomplished under these goals? Since 2020, we have conducted hemp variety trials at four locations including BMCC's Waishkey Bay Farm in Brimley, MI, the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center (UPREC) in Chatham, MI, LTBB's Ziibimijwang Farm in Carp Lake, MI and Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College in Mt. Pleasant, MI. More than 23 hemp suppliers have submitted varieties for these trials from Europe, Canada and the US. Observations have included seed size and germination, seedling establishment and vigor, herbicide injury, flowering date, height, stem diameter, disease, grain and fiber yields, and cannabinoid concentrations. In 2021, we also conducted a weed management trial in grain hemp comparing chemical, physical and biological weed management approaches. Results of these trials have been shared in written reports, presentations, websites and videos noted below, and are summarized as follows: CBD 5 site-years 59 cultivars 69% THC compliant in 2020 CBD 3.24% - 12.69% in compliant cultivars Biomass yields 0.18 - 2.11 lbs/plant (Avg. 1.62 lbs) Documented emerging pests including cannabis aphid, European corn borer, corn ear worm and white mold Grain 5 site-years 25 cultivars Yields 125 - 1,441 lbs/a (Avg. 789 lbs/a) Documented emerging pests including European corn borer, white mold and song birds Fiber 1 site-year 5 cultivars Yields 4,509 - 7,007 DM lbs/a (Avg. 5,569 lbs) Weed Management "Grandi" drilled @ 25 plants/ft2 Four treatments in RCBD on 6/15/21 Control Interseeded white clover Tine harrow (2X) Herbicide: 10 oz/a Assure II + 1 pt/a Buctril Weed counts PRE and POST Tine harrow reduced all weeds moderately, while herbicide reduced grass and some broadleaf weed species significantly. However, both the tine harrow and herbicide significantly reduced hemp populations. Hemp cultivars and weed species show varying susceptibility to the tested herbicides.