Positive results from the first trials of industrial hemp in South Australia will pave the way for an industry anticipated to be worth $3 million in farm gate value per annum within five years.
The preliminary report on the research trial results from the Riverland and South East released today demonstrates a number of varieties are adaptable to South Australia’s climatic conditions.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) trial results will assist growers to make better informed decisions around different industrial hemp varieties.
“What this report demonstrates is the exciting potential the industrial hemp industry has in South Australia as an alternative industry assisting farmers to diversify,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to building a larger and increasingly profitable agriculture industry and we are progressing the industrial hemp industry as part of that vision.
“A second round of industrial hemp trials featuring six varieties is now underway in the Riverland and the Coonawarra and the results will further help shape the industry.
“There are now 10 licences for cultivating and two for processing approved by the State Government, so it is clear there is ongoing interest in growing industrial hemp in South Australia.”
The report outlines key aspects of the first trial which involved five different varieties, including benefits from planting in free draining soil, using good quality irrigation water and high plant density assisting with weed control.
Industrial hemp is cultivated for seed or fibre production. Hemp fibre and pulp can be used in industrial and consumer textiles, paper and building materials, while hemp seed and hemp seed oil can be used in industrial products, cosmetics and food products.
It is produced from cannabis plants with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content – less than one per cent in the leaves, flowers and stems.
View the preliminary report at www.pir.sa.gov.au/industrialhemp