Farmers are growing more industrial hemp each year. The markets for industrial hemp are also growing as people who attended Farming Smarter’s annual meeting at Ag Expo in Lethbridge learned.
Five years ago there were 8,000 acres of industrial hemp. This year the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance expects 100 thousand acres with about a quarter of them in Alberta.
“It’s a really dramatic increase,” said Jan Slaski of Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, “with this increasing acreage driven by the market which demands more hemp products.”
Canadian farmers have been allowed to grow industrial hemp since 1998. The level of THC is within acceptable limits. Hemp grain is used in food while hemp fibre is used in construction materials, textiles and many other things. Farming Smarter plans to research hemp at both irrigated and dryland sites in southern Alberta.
“We want to be able to provide information to farmers so they can grow it properly and hopefully make some money doing it,” said Farming Smarter manager Ken Coles.
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