A pair of research at Kansas State University is bringing new perception to farmers and producers searching for to include industrial hemp in cattle feed. Reports The Cattlesite.com
After the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp manufacturing within the U.S., curiosity has grown in industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, together with as feed for animals. FDA approval, nonetheless, by way of the Association of American Feed Control Officials could be required earlier than hemp might be fed to livestock or pets.
“Although hemp can be legally cultivated under license in Kansas, feeding hemp products to livestock remains prohibited because the potential for cannabinoid drug residues to accumulate in meat and milk has not been studied,” mentioned Hans Coetzee, professor and head of the anatomy and physiology division within the College of Veterinary Medicine.
A staff of Ok-State researchers not too long ago acquired a $200,000 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to ascertain concentrations of cannabinoids in livestock after publicity to industrial hemp.
“Industrial hemp is typically grown to produce oil, seed, fiber and medicines,” mentioned Michael Kleinhenz, assistant professor of beef manufacturing drugs. “While varieties of hemp may be planted for a single or dual purpose, such as for seed and fiber, byproducts consisting of leaves, fodder and residual plant fibers remain after harvest. These byproducts could serve as potential feedstuffs for animals. Because these are predominantly cellulose-containing plant materials, the ideal species for utilizing these feeds are ruminant animals, specifically cattle.”
While there’s curiosity in the usage of hemp for cattle feeds, there are questions on whether or not the feed can be utilized safely due to considerations about tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, intoxication and the presence of different bioactive cannabinoids. Kleinhenz observed that the majority analysis was centered on people, mice and swine, however not on cattle.
“This is surprising because cattle can readily utilize industrial hemp byproducts as they can digest cellulose plant materials in their rumens,” Kleinhenz mentioned.
Kleinhenz is a part of a multidisciplinary analysis staff consisting of pharmacologists, toxicologists, analytical chemists and horticulture consultants. The hemp used within the research was grown at Ok-State’s John C. Pair Horticultural Center close to Wichita. Other Ok-State researchers concerned embrace Geraldine Magnin, Zhoumeng Lin, Steve Ensley, Jason Griffin, Katie E. Kleinhenz, Shawnee Montgomery, Andrew Curtis, Miriam Martin and Coetzee. The analysis staff additionally included John Goeser and Eva Lynch, Rock River Laboratories.
“We observed that the acidic cannabinoids, such as CBDA and THCA, are more readily absorbed from the rumen than other nonacid cannabinoid forms, such as CBD and CBG,” Kleinhenz mentioned. “Now that we have found that some cannabinoids are readily absorbed from the rumen, the next steps are to study the tissue and milk residue depletion profiles of these compounds after animal feeding experiments. The effects of cannabinoids on cattle are also unknown.”
Follow-up experiments will embrace pilot research to look at the impact of feeding hemp on animal habits and immune perform.
“Our goal is to fill in the knowledge gaps,” Kleinhenz mentioned. “Until feedstuffs containing hemp are established as safe in animals, our data will assist producers in managing situations involving intentional or unintentional hemp exposures.”