The start of 2018 marks the first harvest of Australian grown hemp seed since the government legalised the consumption of the superfood in Australia, last November.
Geelong based company, Australian Primary Hemp, has worked in collaboration with over ten farmers around the country to produce Australia’s largest hemp production, growing upwards of 700 hectares of hemp in the first 2018 crops.
The introduction of the hemp industry into Australia provides farmers with a profitable new cropping alternative that previously was unviable to grow due to the lack of demand and restriction of hemp food products for consumption. The licensed summer rotational crop will be harvested for its seed, which can be dehulled, cold pressed to produce Hemp Oil and also milled down to create a Hemp Protein powder.
Simon Allen, Western District farmer and Australian Primary Hemp grower commented, “Hemp has been a great crop to grow, its short cropping cycle has made it easy to integrate into my current cropping program.”
Some of the environmental advantages of growing Hemp include; it can return up to 70% of nutrients back into the soil, aiding as a great fertiliser. Hemp can also remove man-made toxins from the soil, while its deep taproots help loosen the soil and protect against erosion.
James Hood, Australian Primary Hemp Director added, “We have seen an incredibly large influx of farmers interested in growing Hemp in the past 6 months. The ideal climate and soil conditions found in Australia make it a good new crop to grow.”
In the past year, Australian Primary Hemp has tripled its cropping program to keep up with the demand for hemp food products. “Since the legislation change, we have seen people's interest in Australian grown Hemp soar and the demand for Australian products increase significantly, not only in the domestic market but internationally as well,” says James.
Australian Primary Hemp is the country’s only distributor of the Hemp seed variety, Finola for the next cropping season. The popularity of Finola is due to its short cropping cycle and early bloom. Under optimal conditions with irrigation, Canada have seen the Finola variety yield as much as 2 tonnes per hectare.
This year's hemp crops will be used to expand Australian Primary Hemp’s product line to include; hulled hemp seeds, a hemp protein fibre blend, a +50% hemp protein powder and its traditional hemp oil. These products will be made using the company’s own Geelong based, dehulling and production facility. This vertical integration, from seed distribution, farming, processing, to retailers allow’s Australian Primary Hemp to deliver a complete end to end hemp service.
The company is looking to partner with more growers in 2018/2019 to further increase its hemp production. James Hood commented, “We are looking to work with more farmers around but not limited to, Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia.”