South Australia, which enters its fourth year of hemp cultivation, has approved 21 industrial hemp permits for the 2020-2021season. The state government has pledged its continuous support in funding pilots initiated in 2017 and 2018.
Out of the licenses issued by South Australia, 19 are designated for farming hemp, while two are meant for grain processing. The state has more than doubled the number of licenses it issued in 2018, a year from the first commercial hemp harvest in 2019.
According to South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham, the Marshall administration, is investing for the fourth time in Industrial hemp trials. Basham said the government believes in the industry’s economic potential for the state.
Speaking after the release of the latest report regarding hemp trials in the state, Basham said industrial hemp offers the state an opportunity to expand its agricultural base.
Industry advocates in South Australia predict the state’s hemp sector could hit 2 million dollars by 2025. The government is optimistic about reaching that goal as it has made efforts to increase licensing.
For over three years now, state-funded trial projects have experimented with different strains of hemp planted at varying timelines in Maaoupe, Loxton, and Kybybolite. Hemp studies in South Australia focused on the capacity for grain production while also evaluating the plants for their potential to yield hurd and bast fiber.
Basham said that the research findings would provide potential hemp farmers the information necessary to join the industrial hemp sector and decide on suitable varieties and grow sites.
The new report covers preliminary findings from the 2019-2020 trials as well as complete findings from the trials done in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 cultivation seasons.
Production of industrial hemp in South Australia is regulated under the 2017 Industrial Hemp Act and the 2017 Industrial Hemp Regulations.