Industrial Hemp Variety Trials: Results from the Epping Forest trial site for the 2021-22 growing season

  • 30 pages

  • Published: 18 Apr 2023

  • Author(s): Jason Lynch

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-364-9

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AgriFutures Australia’s Emerging Industries Program has determined that industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), i.e. low tetrahydrocannabinol hemp, is an industry with high growth potential. Industrial hemp has a diverse range of uses, including textiles, stockfeed, pet bedding, human food (seed) and building materials. However, to meet demand, there needs to be an increase in the scale of production.

Identified as a top priority in the Australian Industrial Hemp Strategic RD&E Plan (2022-2027) was the establishment of nationally coordinated industrial hemp variety trials that cover the current and future major production environments.

The Industrial Hemp Variety Trials (IHVT) program aims to provide Australian hemp growers with independent information about the performance of industrial hemp seed varieties suited to specific geographic locations within Australia. The IHVT is a three-year project, with year one including sites in the Northern Territory (1), South Australia (2), Tasmania (1), Victoria (1) and Western Australia (2).

Year one results from Epping Forest, Tasmania indicate growers could consider planting the varieties Ferimon 12 or CRS-1 in this region, as they both performed well across grain production and quality parameters. However, caution is advised as this is just one season of data and different seasonal conditions may impact the relative performance of varieties. Further, it was evident from this trial that key factors for crop success include using high-quality seed, crop establishment and achieving adequate plant density.