Seed trial deal with WA Hemp Growers’ Co-Op blows organic hemp potential Wide Open
Wide Open Agriculture is advancing its bid to become the State’s leading organic hemp distributor, collaborating with a growers’ group to identify hemp seed varieties suitable to WA conditions.
The regenerative food group told the Australian Securities Exchange this morning it had inked a memorandum of understanding with WA Hemp Growers’ Co-Op to be a lead partner in its State-wide industrial hemp trial.
WOA will provide the co-operative, which trades as HempGro, with $20,000 to test 10 seed varieties from Canada, France and China.
Under the agreement, HempGro will give WOA access to organic and regenerative industrial hemp growers.
It is expected the crops will be planted by September, with open field trials to be held in the Great Southern, Kimberley and northern Wheatbelt.
WOA’s trial will be the only program conducted under controlled, automated shade house conditions and open field at its Arthur River facility.
WOA managing director Ben Cole said the ASX-listed company’s trial would focus on determining seed varieties “that are most commercially viable for growing hemp in a Wheatbelt climate”.
“Our shade house will allow us to grow hemp varieties in a highly controlled environment, remediating climate risks and permitting testing throughout the year,” Dr Cole said.
“The results from the protected cropping and open field trials will provide new evidence that will speed up the pathway to commercialisation.”
HempGro executive officer Gail Stubber said pinpointing suitable hemp varieties for WA was critical to developing large-scale commercial production.
“This collaboration recognises the opportunities for long-term partnerships for industrial hemp production,” she said.
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