Perry County cattle are eating hemp-based feed for research

NEWPORT, Pa. (WHTM) — A Midstate industrial hemp research project is entering a vital phase.

Perry County Land & Cattle is one of 16 research projects approved by the state Agriculture Department in 2017. They will see how its grass-fed black Angus might benefit from a hemp feed supplement is high in fiber and tested at roughly 27-percent protein. The feed was created from hemp seeds harvested from the group’s 5-acre research plot outside of Newport last summer. The seed was pressed to remove oil, creating a bi-product known as cake. The end product was pressed into pellet form.

The project involves two groups of three heifer calves separated by a fence. One group will be fed hay and a standard grain supplement, while three others will receive hay and the pressed hemp feed.

“So then we’re weighing every two weeks, and we’re doing this test for at least 12 weeks,” said Jeremiah Elsessor, of Perry County Land & Cattle.

Perry County Land & Cattle has applied for additional permits for its research project in 2018, and hopes to expand its crop to 15 acres this summer.

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