Funding supported by New York Senator Chuck Schumer will help Cornell University create the first hemp seed bank in the United States. Schumer said work will soon begin at the nation’s only Industrial Hemp Germplasm Repository located at Cornell University. The program will be rebuilt with an initial $500,000 investment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.
The funding for the repository is targeted towards re-establishing a national public industrial hemp seed bank. The seed bank will help breeders and scientists develop new cultivars, while also helping to identify genes for pest and disease resistance. While there was previously a national industrial hemp seed bank, it was destroyed along with the industrial hemp seed collection when the crop was designated a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
However, changes in the 2018 farm bill removed the designation. Schumer says the funding and new seed bank will help “scientists at Cornell to help boost industrial hemp entrepreneurship.”
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