K-State researches the possibility of feeding industrial hemp to cattle

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Researchers at K-State said now that Kansas farmers are allowed to grow hemp, it does have some slight benefits to the cattle if they eat it, like more protein.

They received a $200 thousand grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Hans Coetze, a K-State researcher, said they are trying to find more uses for the plant, like making it into a tasty treat for livestock. Right now many farmers are growing hemp to be harvested for CBD oils. It has to stay at .3% THC or lower to be grown in Kansas.

“The cultivation of hemp leaves a lot of viable plant material behind and it would be good for producers to be able to use that material effectively or it would just be going to waste,” Coetze said.

So if you dine on a hamburger made from a cow on an all hemp diet, will you feel the effects of the CBD or THC? That is what they are trying to make sure doesn’t happen.

“The concern is that those low concentrations could accumulate in the animal if the animal eats enough of the material,” Coetze said.

The study will continue into 2021 and is one of the first to be done. Right now they are just testing this on cows, but soon could see how this affects all livestock.

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