Industrial Hemp Variety Trials: Results from the Katherine Research Station trial for the 2023 growing season

  • 37 pages

  • Published: 17 May 2024

  • Author(s): Shah Nawaz

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-491-2

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AgriFutures Australia has recognised the potential for significant growth of the industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) sector due to its wide range of sustainable applications and uses. The benefits associated with the hemp grain, including the oil profile, which has one of the best omega 3:6 ratios of any plant-based oil, is a key factor in the potential of this crop.

Against this backdrop, the AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program has invested in a series of variety trials to understand the crop’s performance across Australia. The Industrial Hemp Variety Trials (IHVT) program aims to provide Australian hemp growers with essential data through evaluating grain and dual-purpose hemp varieties appropriate for diverse growing regions throughout Australia. To accomplish this, trial sites have been set up in multiple locations across Australia, encompassing the Northern Territory, South Australia (2), Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia (2) and New South Wales.

The 2023 Katherine Research Station trial in the Northern Territory comprised 11 varieties and three times of sowing (TOS), with four replicates of each treatment. Nine varieties and two sowing times were common between the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The trial successfully identified differences in varieties for grain yield and quality parameters, including suitability for the region and different uses.

Pending a final season of data, growers may consider planting Han Cold, Yuma and King Gee for dual-purpose (biomass and grain) industrial hemp production in the Katherine region or growing environments that experience similar conditions as experienced in this trial.