State’s hemp growers consolidate

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
Bronwyn and Chris Blake, and their children Kai and Jesse, in their paddock of Fedora Futura hemp plants which will be harvested for nutritious seed food for human consumption.
Camera IconBronwyn and Chris Blake, and their children Kai and Jesse, in their paddock of Fedora Futura hemp plants which will be harvested for nutritious seed food for human consumption. Credit: Countryman, Bob Garnant

Industrial hemp growers will gather in Manjimup today to discuss the growing industry while recipients of the State Government’s second Industrial Hemp Grants Scheme will be announced.

There are currently 62 industrial hemp licences in WA, primarily in the South West and along the south coast.

Executive officer of HempGro, an industrial hemp co-op for WA growers, Gail Stubber said the organisation would travel to Narrogin in March to spark interest among farmers.

“The industry in WA is definitely growing,” she said.

“The hemp co-op is picking up farmers and we are going to be going out Narrogin way in March, to talk to farmers to see if they might be interested in joining the co-op.

“We think the biggest things we have to do right now is getting the right seeds into the right region.”

Ms Stubber said Narrogin’s average annual rainfall of 493mm provided ideal conditions for growing hemp crops.

“You need between 300mm and 500mm of rain and you need warm days to finish it off,” she said.

Another organisation advocating for hemp cropping in WA is iHempWA Association.

Vice-chairman David Chick said hemp seeds for human consumption, skin care from seed oil“hempcrete” buildings from the hurd were being made from WA crops.

“Other local products in demand are hemp flour and protein powder, pet food and bedding, beer and milk,” he said. “Products that could be produced in Australia are clothing and paper, automobile and construction materials, lubricants, biofuels and bioplastics.

“It is early days and creative value-adding is proving essential for the success of smaller farm.”

Mr Chick said broadacre profitability was yet to be proven in WA but producers were receiving $10 per kilo from hemp seed currently.

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