Industrial Hemp Variety Trials: Results from the Epping Forest trial site for the 2022-23 growing season

  • 41 pages

  • Published: 26 Oct 2023

  • Author(s): Jason Lynch

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-429-5

Share this content
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • email
  • Download report PDF

  • Purchase a hard copy - AUD $50

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 due to the crop’s diverse uses and applications, and sustainability credentials.

The Industrial Hemp Variety Trials (IHVT) program aims to provide Australian hemp growers with independent information about different hemp seed varieties suited to different geographic regions within Australia. The program is in its second year of three and includes sites in the Northern Territory, South Australia (2), Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia (2), New South Wales and Queensland.

The 2022-23 Tasmanian trial tested 10 seed varieties and two times of sowing. Four of the 10 varieties were included in the previous year’s trial.

The seed varieties CFX-2, X59 and CRS-1 were found to perform best in terms of grain and quality metrics, including height, season length, plant density, phenology and sex differentiation. Harvest assessments also included grain weight, yield, density, oil and protein content. Industrial hemp crops sown in early summer have a shorter growing season, are shorter in height and produce less biomass and grain than crops sown in late spring. The grain yield for X59 was significantly higher than for all other varieties in both seasons.

These varieties may be suitable for cultivation in northern Tasmania, however another year’s data is required to provide a more robust dataset. The information gathered from the 2021-22 and 2022-23 trials will help Tasmanian hemp growers determine the appropriate varieties and planting periods.