Breeding & Hybrids
Hungarian hemp breeder and researcher Ivan Bocsa summarized his decades of
involvement in hemp breeding and gave an overview of currently available
varieties of fibre hemp. He compared monoecious (single-sexed) and
dioecious (two-sexed) varieties, explaining that monoecious have higher
fibre production, but dioecious allow for simultaneous production of fibre
and seeds in one crop.
He mentioned a hybrid variety with a high seed yield of 1600kg per
hectare, which cannot be grown in Europe because its THC content of
exceeds the European Union’s limit of
Another interesting variety is a dioecious yellow stem hemp which loses its
chlorophyll content before flowering. This means that the fibre does not
turn brown and so does not require bleaching. This lends itself to the
production of environmentally friendly paper and textiles.
Real Live Hemp Pulp
Robert Zulauf discussed the practical problems he had experienced while
making hemp paper at his paper mill. Difficulties included the wide
variation in the quality of purchased pulp, repeated clogging of disk and
cone type grinders by the long fibres, and the need for time-consuming
grinding in a Hollander beater.
Although Zulaf’s experiences did not live up to the fabulous possibilities
for hemp outlined during the Symposium, it did serve to show that hemp can
be a successful crop if it is properly controlled and developed.
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