Interest in Hemp Fiber Rising as Farmers Look to 2021
In 2020, cannabinoid production undoubtedly continued to steal the hemp show. According to a recent survey by market analytics firm Hemp Benchmarks, nearly 90% of growers opted to cultivate hemp either for cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabigerol (CBG).
But excitement has been simmering for another segment of the hemp market: hemp fiber.
With the potential to produce both bast and hurd that can be the basis for thousands of products, hemp fiber holds tremendous promise for the industry, and it’s where many industry leaders believe the future of hemp lies in the long-term.
The hemp fiber industry is still very much in its infancy, perhaps more so than any other faction of hemp. A May report from pricing and research firm The Jacobsen found hemp fiber varieties made up just 2.5% of total planted acreage in 2020. A more recent November report from PanXchange, a leading benchmark price provider in the U.S. hemp industry, pegged that number a bit higher at around 8%. Regardless, the agencies estimate it was the least popular segment of hemp among farmers.
The lack of popularity is likely due to immature pricing—hemp fiber farmers reported fetching an average of $0.12 per pound of “true hemp” biomass (hemp stalks), according to PanXchange.
But as The Jacobsen states in its report, “once companies with market-ready products seek out contracts for raw hemp fiber, acreage could increase dramatically in a very short period of time.”