Hemp Pioneer to detail Carbon Sequestration Potential

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Hemp Farms Australia

Hemp’s carbon-capture potential will be examined at a national conference next month.

CEO of Hemp Farms Australia (HFA), one of the nation’s largest industrial hemp seed suppliers, Lauchlan Grout will discuss hemp’s promising performance as a carbon-reuse crop.

“Hemp is Australia’s most exciting renewable,” he said. “While public interest is focussed on medicinal use, low-THC hemp’s industrial applications are possibly even more promising.

“This tough, fast-cropping plant has multiple uses in food/nutraceuticals, as animal fodder and for renewable building materials.

“It captures atmospheric carbon, stores it in the soil and then recycles it within its cells – making it structurally stronger than steel. It’s a powerhouse of a plant.

“As we face a carbon-constrained future, industrial hemp offers a clever way to mitigate Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

Other speakers at the two-day conference in NSW’s Hunter Valley will include scientists from CSIRO and several universities as well as other industry pioneers. Mr Grout said: “For farmers seeking to diversify, or for those simply looking for a quick-growing break crop, industrial hemp offers so many solutions across so many climatic regions of Australia.”

HFA’s Ruby variety was the only Australian-bred plant chosen for a major national two-year field trial by run by AgriFutures Australia. Preliminary results from those trials found that the Ruby variety outperformed eight overseas-sourced varieties. The NSW trial at Narrabri saw Ruby ranking highest for grain yield, bulk density and oil content, and second-best for WUE and protein content. Ruby top-scored with 1.55t/ha grain yield – “significantly higher than that of all other varieties”, according to the field trial report by Associate Professor Guy Roth from the University of Sydney. Oil content was 26% and grain bulk density topped the results at 47.8kg.

The Queensland trial at Stanthorpe saw Ruby ranking highest for water-use efficiency and second-highest for grain yield and harvest index. The Victoria trial at Hamilton saw Ruby ranking highest for plant height and second-highest for oil content. Ruby was developed from varieties grown in the sub-tropics and acclimatised for wider geographic use since 1998. HFA is the sole owner of the PBR seed.

Mr Grout said: “Ruby has been bred for drought tolerance – she was bred for harsh climatic conditions – and the ability to produce above industry-average yields both for fibre and grain with oil and protein content. “It’s the perfect crop for a rotation model; it’s an all-season break crop depending on your location, with the benefit of dollar return and is excellent for seedbed preparation.

“It’s a superb weed suppressant and is one of the most effective carbon-sequestrating agriculture crops,” he said.
Australia’s fourth biennial industrial hemp conference will be held at Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort, Pokolbin from April 16-18. Visit https://www.australianindustrialhempconference.org/