How is hybrid hemp seed produced at scale?

By |2024-05-29T12:35:11-06:00May 23rd, 2024|Categories: blog, news|

As discussed, hybrid hemp is the F1 (first generation) seed harvested from a cross between two genetically distinct varieties. The key to successfully commercializing hybrids is to develop a method to scale seed production. A critical element of high-quality hybrid seed is using inbred parent lines in these crosses. Several different breeding approaches are used to create inbred lines and will be discussed in a future blog focused on how hemp hybrids and varieties are bred and selected. Scaled hybrid seed production has been accomplished using several approaches in other crops. Corn (maize), for instance, uses a method where tassels (the source of pollen on a corn plant) are removed from the variety being used as the female parent in the cross. This leaves only the pollen from the intended male parent available to sire seed on the female plants. In contrast to the mechanical removal of pollen anatomy used in corn, crops such as canola and sunflower have developed genetic systems to remove pollen-bearing tissues (e.g. cytoplasmic male sterility). The planting design for most hybrid crop production consists of alternating bays of male and female genotypes. Typically, the male is planted at a lower ratio than the female and at a rate that ensures adequate pollen availability while still maximizing the number of female plants. The goal is always to maximize hybrid seed yield and quality. The ratio of male: female in the field is species-dependent but is typically around 1:4. Thus far, hybrid hemp and [...]

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By |2024-05-08T09:51:45-06:00May 6th, 2024|Categories: blog, news|

New West Genetics aims to contribute solutions to agriculture’s climate challenges, and the NWG AMPLIFY SBIR grant project will enable just that. Since 2014, NWG has revolutionized the industrial hemp industry by leveraging traditional genome-enabled plant breeding approaches and launching certified, US-bred commercial seed varieties and hybrids. This project is a testament to NWG’s commitment to innovation, aiming to significantly enhance grain yields and fiber quality of industrial hemp, thereby offering a sustainable alternative to traditional crops like soybeans. At the heart of NWG's approach is the utilization of existing genetics and their vast gene bank to develop improved hemp hybrids with significantly higher yields. By focusing on hybrid planting seeds, NWG aims to more than double the grain yields compared to existing genetics, bringing them on par with current soybean yields. This genetic innovation not only promises to enhance the economic viability of hemp but also offers a new cropping and rotation option for U.S. farmers, alongside providing food manufacturers with a cost-effective and nutritious ingredient. Hemp grain, renowned for its high lipid content and balanced amino acid profile, is considered a superfood. It surpasses soy in lipid content and offers a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Beyond its nutritional value, hemp stalks, composed of bast and hurd fibers, hold significant market value for producing textiles, bio-plastics, and other sustainable materials. The dual-purpose production of grain and stalk from the same crop underscores hemp's versatility and potential as a sustainable agricultural resource. The [...]

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What is Hybrid Hemp?

By |2024-03-18T10:19:57-06:00March 5th, 2024|Categories: blog|

What is Hybrid Hemp? The NWG breeding program began working on hybrid hemp genetics to leverage the advantages hybrids have created in other major crop species (e.g. corn, canola, et.) such as higher and more consistent yields, stress tolerance and harvestability. NWG AMPLIFY hybrids have the added benefit of a skewed percentage of females to 90%, thus creating massive increase in grain yield potential.  But some might be asking, what is hybrid hemp? What is a Hybrid? Hybrid hemp refers to the F1 (first generation) seed harvested from a cross between two genetically distinct varieties.  This produces an effect known as heterosis, where the F1 generation outperforms either of its parents for desirable traits such as grain and/or fiber yield, early season vigor, tolerance to environmental stresses, and other agronomic traits. Heterosis has fueled the gains in yield and overall performance that we have seen in corn over the past 100 years. Hybrids will do the same for hemp by significantly improving grain and/or fiber yield potential, yield stability across geographies and overall harvested crop quality compared to traditional Open-Pollinated hemp varieties. It is important to note that not every hybrid cross results in heterosis (e.g. hybrid vigor: increased yields, tolerance to environmental stress, etc). In fact, most hybrid combinations do not result in heterosis. Well-bred parents in a hybrid breeding program are selected from genetic backgrounds that increase the likelihood of heterosis, as exemplified by crops like hybrid corn and canola. NWG has these background parent pools to drive [...]

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Hemp Seed Meal Achieves Monumental Milestone on Path to Federal Approval

By |2024-01-24T09:44:40-06:00January 24th, 2024|Categories: news, press release|

Hemp Feed Coalition (HFC) a 501(c)(3) dedicated to obtaining federal approval for the use of hemp grain products in animal feed, is pleased to announce a landmark achievement with the tentative approval of Hemp Seed Meal (HSM) for Laying Hens at the recent Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Mid-Year Meeting.  With the FDA-Center for Veterinary Medicine’s (FDA-CVM’s) recommendation for approval, the Ingredient Definition Committee approved the HSM tentative definition on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, with no opposition. This will go before AAFCO’s Board and members for final approval, and then be adopted into the Official Publication later this year. This historic milestone has been more than three years in the making and will allow processors to formulate with HSM in the diets of laying hens as a source of protein and fat at an inclusion of no more than 20%. To see the ingredient definition in its entirety, please visit This hemp grain derivative is a highly nutritious ingredient with a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, healthy oils, and a complete protein profile. Research confirms the nutrition profile and functionality of hemp feed resemble that of soy and canola while alleviating concerns about its suitability as an ingredient. Evidence also shows increased value over typical feed sources, with significant improvement in egg quality as HSM concentration increases in the hen’s diet. Notably, hemp-fed hens lay eggs enriched with essential fatty acids such as ALA, DHA, and GLA, and increased amounts of Lutein which are known promotors [...]

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By |2024-01-19T09:35:18-06:00January 9th, 2024|Categories: press release|

January 9, 2024 New West Genetics (NWG) hemp hybrids; NWG10 and NWG12,  have been approved by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies’ (AOSCA) Hemp Variety Review Board as qualified for Certified seed status. "This is the first approval of industrial hemp hybrids made using a genetic system, to be recognized by the AOSCA Variety Review Board. Previous hemp hybrids accepted by AOSCA were created through chemically feminized seed to serve the CBD flower market. In contrast, AMPLIFY hybrids can be made at commercial scale, realized through a patent-pending trait;  a genetic gender skew defined by an average ratio of 90% female plants and 10% male plants in a population,  rather than the average 50/50 mix found in industrial hemp varieties.  The high proportion of female plants along with hybrid vigor leads to drastic increases in yield that will fundamentally change the economics of industrial hemp grain production for growers and processors. NWG is using the knowledge gained over the past 100 years of hybrid crop improvement to accelerate our breeding program.“  reports NWG Chief Technology Officer Rich Fletcher. NWG AMPLIFY’s non-chemical, non-GMO technology combines genetic traits, hybrid vigor, and skewed female populations to enable hemp grain to reach and even exceed the yields of crops like soybeans and canola while offering the same protein levels, and a higher quality and quantity of oil.   This jump in vigor, yield, and reliability is revolutionizing the economics of hemp production, paving the way to greatly scale hemp's application for food, feed, and sustainable fuel markets. Because AMPLIFY [...]

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