The Industrial Hemp Association of Victoria will be at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo this week to talk to potential growers of the rare crop.
With growers already in northern Victoria, including one near Rochester, association member David Brian said the idea behind going to Seymour was to attract more growers before sowing time later in the year.
‘‘We are looking for growers to grow hemp in the Goulburn Valley,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s the right time to get ready for next year’s crop, which will be sown around September, October or November.
‘‘So if we went to Elmore (field days) it would be bordering on too late.’’
For a hemp crop to be successful, Mr Brian said it relied on certain soil and conditions like any other crop.
‘‘It does need a sandy lane. There’s good sandy lanes in the Goulburn Valley and southern NSW and it also needs irrigation,’’ he said.
He said growing hemp would be a good fit for any cropping cycle.
‘‘You can sow after winter crops are off and it doesn’t interrupt the cropping cycle,’’ he said.
‘‘In fact, it actually benefits it as the tap root helps break up the soil and produces organic matter in the soil.
‘‘Most are growing it for the hemp seed, which is the highest seed-based protein.
‘‘The heart of the seed is sold and then pressed into oil. The protein then goes into meals after it is processed.
‘‘There is a focus on protein shakes and powders.’’
■For more information visit the Industrial Hemp Association of Victoria at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo at site B105 or phone David Brian on 0407 775 336.
The Australian Industrial Hemp Conference will be held in Geelong from February 27 to March 2.
For more information on that event, email the AusBiotech events team at [email protected] or phone 9828 1400.