Reedy Creek 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 Reedy Creek on 23 February 2023.

The field day will feature a tour of an industrial hemp trial planted last year as part of a three year Industrial Hemp Variety Trial co-funded by AgriFutures Australia and South Australian Research and Development Institute.

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 ten varieties. These were sourced from seed suppliers in Australia, and include varieties from Australia, Canada, France and Poland.

IHVT national coordinator Mark Skewes, of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) said it would be interesting to see if the Reedy Creek trial results were similar to those from a trial site at Maaoupe, utilised in the first year. The Reedy Creek site has a similar climate but different soil types to the Maaoupe site.

“The Maaoupe results showed the best-performing varieties across a range of grain production and quality metrics in 2021-22 were Ferimon 12 and CRS-1,” said Mr Skewes.

“Field day visitors will be able to see how the Reedy Creek crop is growing, and the differences between the varieties and sowing times ahead of harvest.”

AgriFutures Australia Emerging Industries Program Senior Manager, Dr Olivia Reynolds said this is 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 or territory 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 10:00am-12:00pm on Thursday, 23 February 2023 at 555 Mail Bridge Rd, Reedy Creek. Registration is required via this link. For enquiries, please email mark.skewes@sa.gov.au

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

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

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