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Research Paves Way for Australian Hemp Boom

AgriFutures Australia recently unveiled three comprehensive research reports relating to local industrial hemp production.

These reports not only showcase the many uses of industrial hemp, from food and textiles to fence posts, but also spotlight the crop’s environmental benefits. The aim? To propel the Australian industrial hemp sector to an annual production value exceeding $10 million by 2026.

Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Doctor Stuart Gordon, is co-author of these reports.

“The exercise through AgriFutures Australia was excellent because it allowed us to audit the system, realise what’s there and what we need,” said Dr. Gordon. “It’s a great foundation for the next movement or the next set of investment in the industry.”

The three reports cover:

The first report is considered the most important and brought together highly experienced agronomists, consultants and academics from across the hemp industry. The manual has been reviewed by the Australian Hemp Council (AHC) Agronomy Working Group. This, says Tim Schmidt, President of the AHC, has ensured a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to industrial hemp production for growers and agronomists is now available.

“With the hemp industry still in its infancy, there remains much to learn, and further basic research is required on industrial hemp production in Australia,” states Mr. Schmidt.

Mr. Schmidt says the guide provides a “bright starting point” for Australia’s hemp industry, and it will evolve and grow with the industry in the years ahead.

According to AgriFutures, there was just under 2,500 hectares of industrial hemp planted by more than 500 license holders across Australia in the 2022-23 season. The industry is expected to grow in coming years and these reports will help it do so.

AgriFutures Australia is one of 15 Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) that service the Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) needs of Australian rural industries.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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