There’s excitement on the X-Hemp farm in the Australian state of Tasmania, with the emergence of a trial hemp crop.
X-Hemp works with licenced Tasmanian hemp farmers, taking their grain stubble and converting it saleable products such as building materials, mulch for landscaping and bast for paper production. Bast is the fibre around the woody core (hurd) of the hemp plant.
X-Hemp is also growing its own fibre crop in two small two trials occurring this season with the support of Ecofibre Limited / Ananda Food and the Tasmanian Hemp Association.
“The first wee fibre variety hemp babies popped out of the ground a day or so ago,” said X-Hemp founder Andi Lucas when posting the image above on Facebook. “Whatever happens, I am so excited about these little fellas making their appearance… grow, hemp, grow!”
What makes this particularly exciting for Tasmania is this is the first fibre hemp variety trial to occur in the state for decades. There’s plenty of hemp being grown, but it is all primarily for grain or CBD (cannabidiol) – and the latter is considered medicinal cannabis.
Apparently the crop being grown is the “MS77” variety, assumed to be ECO-MS77. It’s one of Ananda Hemp’s top 5 cultivars for the United States and is described as:
“ECO-MS77 is a robust dual-purpose diecious variety of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) bred for a longer internode length than ‘ECO-CHG’, high vegetative force, great capability of adaptation, greater TSW (30 – 32g) and very low cannabinoid (THC and other cannabinoids) content. This variety bred in Australia using a recurrent selection method and is suited to a wide range of latitude (5 – 53) for fiber production.”
And judging by this photo, robust is a pretty good description:
It’s not just action stations on the X-Hemp farm, other farmers in the state are keeping busy after planting season began in mid-November.
“Now the paddocks are all dry and no rain forecast for the next week,” said Tasmanian Hemp Association President Tim Schmidt last week. “This is where the Tasmanian producers come into their own, being able to nurture a healthy hemp crop germination with irrigation and experience.”