Hemp trial showing positive signs for growth in industry

Industrial Hemp Taskforce members Fiona Patten, Mildura SuniTAFE primary industries manager Warren Lloyd and Ali Cupper.

A HEMP partnership between Mildura SuniTAFE and Australian Primary Hemp at Tafe’s Smart Farm in Cardross is showing plenty of promise.

Member for Mildura Ali Cupper and Reason Coalition leader Fiona Patten – who are both members of the Victorian Government’s Industrial Hemp Taskforce – toured the site on Tuesday and were impressed with the progress of the trial crop.

“One of the purposes of the Industrial Hemp Taskforce is to examine future opportunities for industry growth, so it’s very exciting to see how well this trial is developing,” Ms Cupper said.

“I want Sunraysia to be the hemp capital of Victoria – it could become a complementary crop for many of our growers and, hopefully, lead to a processing facility being based in the region, creating jobs and boosting our economy.”

Ms Patten, who is touring the Mildura electorate this week with Reason Coalition partner Ms Cupper for meetings on a range of issues, said the future of hemp industries in Victoria was bright.

“The demand for hemp-based products continues to grow in Australia, but the industrial hemp industry remains in its infancy in our State,” Ms Patten said.

“The Mildura electorate is in a prime position to take a lead role in the industry’s growth, providing opportunities for farmers, providing jobs and boosting the economy.”

Ms Patten said hemp was such a versatile crop with uses including food, clothing, fuel and even building materials.

One hectare of carina vines was cleared at the Smart Farm for the hemp crop, with overhead sprinklers reinstated.

Australian Primary Hemp provided three varieties of hemp seed – CFS, CFX and Finola – with plantings over the following schedule:

* CFX at a rate of 40kg/Ha over 0.25 Ha mid-November.

* CFS at a rate of 20kg/Ha over 0.25 Ha late-November.

* Finola at a rate of 10kg/Ha over 0.5 Ha mid-December. 

Harvesting is due in March.

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