Hemp fibre variety trials in Alberta

Project Details

Status: Completed
Investment: $332,500
Commodity: Multiple Crops
Organization: Canadian Rockies Hemp Corporation
Investigator: Katie Penstone

The professional expertise provided to this project will not only provide better understanding of agronomy and harvesting, but also provide farmers/processors information needed to commercialize this industry in Canada.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

This value-added research project, led by Canadian Rockies Hemp Corp (CRHC), will work in collaboration with the University of Alberta, Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA). Alberta Hemp Alliance (AHA), and Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AFRED), to help hemp producers accurately identify which fibre hemp varieties are best suited for production in Alberta. Results from this project will be vital to help expand the hemp industry across Alberta.

Additionally, the results from this project will determine ideal varieties, preferred soil types, fertility, seeding, preferred crop rotations, harvesting techniques, and decortication techniques to drive the highest return for Alberta farmers and processors. This will be vital to helping expand the hemp industry across Canada.

CRHC will look to evaluate the three most commonly available Canadian dual-purpose hemp varieties against Canadian bred “fibre dominant” variety and a specialty Ukrainian bred varietal in commercial-sized trial plots in different soil types in North / Central / Eastern Alberta. CRHC firmly feels these genetics and agronomic practices will be pivotal in advancing the hemp fibre market in Alberta and Canada.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

Currently, Prairie farmers have next to no choices for fibre specific hemp varieties and limited agronomy information. Knowledge pertaining to seeding, fertilizing, crop rotate, harvesting, and processing fibre will all be expanded upon. The professional expertise provided to this project will not only provide better understanding of agronomy and harvesting, but also provide farmers/processors information needed to commercialize this industry in Canada.

The benefits will include; Improving crop health, Production efficiency, Enhanced pest and disease management, Genetic improvements, Water efficiency, Soil health (soil quality), Input/output utilization, Nitrogen use reduction, Greenhouse gas emissions, Climate variability and adaptability, New value-added products, Alternative agriculture products, Knowledge translation and transfer to Alberta’s producers, Demonstration and analysis of feasibility, and Adoption of best management practices.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

The University of Alberta, in collaboration with the CHTA, the Alberta Hemp Alliance, and Alberta Agriculture/Forestry will be working with CRHC and its project partners to distribute findings/results for public use. Data will be used not only by governments, universities, and research institutes for further product and market development, but also farmers and processors to further develop commercial production.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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