Manjimup Industrial Hemp Variety Trial site to open for inspection

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Farmers interested in growing industrial hemp are invited to attend a field day at Manjimup on Thursday, 2 February 2023.

Interest is growing in industrial hemp grain, which is high in protein and omegas 3 and 6, as a whole grain or as an addition to fortify other food products.

The field day will feature a tour of the second season crop of a three year Industrial Hemp Variety Trial co-funded by AgriFutures Australia and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), Western Australia.

The trial plot is one of nine sites across seven states and territories of Australia where key performance data is being captured for a range of grain and dual-purpose (grain & fibre) varieties for different sowing times and environmental conditions.

The second year of the trial is evaluating the performance of eight varieties sown on 1 November 2022 and 11 varieties sown on 24 November 2022. These were sourced from seed suppliers in Australia, and include varieties from Australia, Canada, France and Poland.

DPIRD research scientist, Shahajahan Miyan said it would be interesting to see if the second-year trial showed significant yield differences between varieties similar to that observed in the first year.

“The early standout in the first-year trial was Ferimon 12, a dual-purpose variety originating from France that produced the highest grain yield and the highest dry matter at harvest, while CFX 2 and CRS 1 also performed well,” said Mr Miyan.

“Four new varieties were added to the second year of the trial, one from Poland and three from France, to add diversity and compare performance under local conditions.

“Field day visitors will be able to see how the second-year crop is growing, with some plants expected to be more than two metres high.”

The early maturing varieties are set to be harvested soon, while the later maturing varieties will be harvested in March or April.

A second IHVT site in northern Western Australia, is being carried out at the department’s Frank Wise Institute of Tropical Agriculture at Kununurra, which will be showcased at a field day later in the year.

AgriFutures Australia Emerging Industries, Senior Manager, Dr Olivia Reynolds said it was a great opportunity for farmers, processors, food retailers and commercial investors in the region to learn more about industrial hemp and the diverse opportunities it offers Australian agriculture.

“With a global industrial hemp market valued at $4.9 billion in 2019, and projected to reach $18.6 billion by 2027, this is a huge opportunity for Australian agriculture to produce an environmentally sustainable multi-purpose crop that can be used for everything from food to fabric and even building materials,” said Dr Reynolds.

The IHVT is aligned with the recent announcement of a $2.5 million program of research by AgriFutures Australia to grow the industry, which aims to exceed $10m in production at farmgate by 2026.

Industrial hemp, which must be grown under state government permits, has very low tetrahydrocannabinol content (THC) but is high in protein and healthy fats. Since 2017 it has been legal to sell industrial hemp seed for human consumption.

The need for the IHVT was identified in the Australian Industrial Hemp Strategic RD&E Plan (2022-2027) developed by AgriFutures Australia, which sets out a clear pathway to grow the industry. The plan has five major objectives covering seed and varieties; growing the crop; products produced from the crop; the sustainability of hemp; and the regulatory environment.

The industrial hemp field day will be held from 9.30am-12.30pm on Thursday, 2 February 2023 at DPIRD’s Manjimup Horticulture Research Institute, including morning tea and a light lunch.

Registration is required for catering purposes. Register here. For enquiries email don.telfer@dpird.wa.gov.au

For more information on field day times, locations and programs at other locations around Australia, visit Industrial Hemp | AgriFutures Australia

[ENDS]

Media enquiries:
Megan Hendry
AgriFutures Emerging Industries Extension Officer
m.a.hendry@cqu.edu.au | +61 7 4930 9344

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