Introducing a new tool for hemp seed producers and farmers

Over the last few months, Phylos has received an influx of calls from farmers looking to understand how the Plant Sex Test can be used to cross-check and validate their feminized hemp crops. As the number of farmers entering the industry increases, so has the demand for reliable sources of hemp seeds, clones, and seedlings. In fact, a recent report estimated that nearly 25% of farmers are concerned about access to quality hemp seeds.

Generally, there are three types of cannabis crops grown outdoors:

> Male and female hemp crops grown for fiber, seed, and oil production

> Female-only hemp crops grown for high CBD production

> Female-only drug cultivar crops grown for high THC production

While the primary goal is finding seeds that will reliably test under 0.3% THC, growers are increasingly concerned about the risk of an unidentified male pollinating an entire crop—or even worse—a neighboring crop. A cross-pollination event can cost a business thousands or even millions of dollars in lost revenue by making their product unsellable. The industry has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cross-contamination lawsuits hitting the courts, and  understandably, farmers are concerned.

Phylos can help.

We asked our resident statistician Erica Bakker to develop a risk assessment calculator to guide farmers through the testing process. For those gearing up to sow upwards of 1 million seeds, learning to calculate potential risk is mission critical.

What the calculator can tell you:

> How many plants you need to test per variety.

> If you have a low, medium, or high level of confidence regarding the presence of males in your seed population per variety.

For the most accurate risk assessment, you need to know the total number of plants you’re growing for each variety. Why? Different varieties are genetically distinct, meaning the risks vary from variety to variety.

Once your test results are in, Phylos can help you better understand what this means for your entire crop. It’s important to note that this data is an estimation based on statistical probability, and there is always a risk for the appearance of a male or hermaphroditic plant. This means ongoing vigilance is key. The only sure way to know if you have males in a population is to test every plant—something that is understandably not economically feasible for most growers.

Tips to prevent or reduce males and hermaphrodites:

> Use the Plant Sex Test to estimate the probability of males in your seed lots

> Walk field rows daily to monitor unusual signs such as pollen sack development

> Always keep Plant Sex Test stakes with plants until harvest for quality control purposes

To receive a free risk assessment and testing calculation from a trained Phylos staff member, complete the inquiry form or call us at 503-206-6599 EXT 1.