THE HEMP COMMERCE & FARMING REPORT
Volume 1, Issue 2, June 14th 1999
ISSN 1488-3988 (c) 1999 AHEM,
IN THIS ISSUE
Top of the Crop
Cross Canada Crop Report
How Can You Call Yourself an Organic Farmer When Your Organic Matter is so Low?
E-Interview with Richard Rose
Making Light Work in Analysis of Oilseeds, Fibre and Fermented Beverages
Many Ways to Have a Commercial Hemp Crop...Few Ways to Kill It
Publisher: AHEM Editor: Arthur Hanks firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales, Sponsorship, and Distribution: Jason Freeman email@example.com
Editorial and Research Assistant: Brian James firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors: Jon Cloud, Ryan Crawford, Jason Freeman, Ann Hanks, Roddy Heading, Eric Hughes, Terry Lefebvre, Diane Malley, David Marcus, Richard Rose, Chuck Schom, Gordon Scheifele, Phil Williams
SUBMISSIONS: Submissions are welcome. Please contact HCFR editor, Arthur Hanks, with your story, research or information for inclusion in the HCFR.
EDITORIAL: In mid-May, Health Canada announced that they had received roughly 750 applications to grow industrial hemp this year; it is expected that at least 600 of these licenses will be granted. Despite the Hemp office's reorganisation this year, it seems that a rush of applications in the spring recreated the bottleneck that led to frustration last year, with 4 week or longer waiting periods. It seems the high level of interest in hemp caught the Ministry by surprise. Those who applied earlier had quick processing from 5-10 business days. For the most part, applicants are satisfied with the treatment they have received from the new team at Health Canada.
A few weeks ago, it seemed that hemp production would scrape close to 30,000 acres this year. However due to delays in licensing, seed distribution and in some cases, harsh weather, some of this "paper acreage" has been burned off. Acreage across the country is estimated to be under 25,000 acres: still a considerable jump in production for an unproven crop.
Many farmers and observers are concerned with the high jump of acreage, worrying that it may lead to stockpiling, and inevitably, price dumping that will deny farmers reasonable returns in the future. Others remain optimistic in the heady days of planting, citing high quality and strong product development as solutions to moving their ventures and the industry forward. The mood, in general, seems to be that it is time for risk.
The commitment to adding value to the crop is recognised industry-wide as a necessity. By building local opportunities over the long term, hemp can position itself economically in this country in a way that few commodities have traditionally been able to in Canada.
And the HCFR will be there. Response to the first issue exceeded our expectations. Thanks to everyone who wrote or called us for their kind words, criticisms and feedback. We will be publishing on a regular schedule and our editorial scope and coverage of this fast-developing industry will proceed as resources allow. Please take some time to check out our advertisers' goods, services and products, and enjoy this edition of the HCFR. And why not print it out on hemp paper too?
Enjoy the emergence,
Arthur Hanks June 1999 Vancouver, BC
General Testing Laboratories, a division of SGS Canada Inc, is licensed by Health Canada to perform THC tests as required by regulation. For further information contact Peter Taylor at Peter_Taylor@sgsgroup.com or visit our web site at www.sgs.ca .
Phone: 604-324-1166, Fax: 604-324-1177
TOP OF THE CROP
1) ONTARIO OFFERS CROP INSURANCE:
Ontario hemp farmers with processing contracts have had the chance to get insurance this year. Offered through Agricorp, the provincial insurance agency, the insurance covers a wide range of insured perils, including droughts, excess moisture, rainfall, flood, frost, wind, wildlife, and insect infestation. Recognising hemp's documented tendency to increase in THC levels because of environmental stress, the Insurance also covers that contingency IF an excess of 0.3% is caused by insured peril. Weeds, notably, are NOT a recognised peril. The coverage, set at 70%, extends to both fibre and to grain. There is also a reseeding benefit of $200/acre if necessary.
According to Agricorp's Peter Ilnyckyj, Ontario had a number of challenges in being the first province to offer crop insurance for this novel crop. "How do you cover the value in an industry that doesn't exist? " asks Ilnyckyj.
Agricorp began developing insurance after being approached last year by Ontario growers and processors Kenex and Hempline. Based on only one year of production data to establish an average yield and risk profile, Agricorp decided to offer a bare base, flat deductible. Hemp would not have staggered (5-30%) deductibles, other established crops do. Agricorp also decided NOT to insure farmers who were growing on spec, as in a sense, the whole industry is a risk.
Insurance closing date was May 10th; this was extended as some interested growers were still waiting for seed, and the guarantee, that they would be growing this year. Manitoba is another province reportedly looking into crop insurance.
Established in 1997 to replace the Ontario Crop Insurance Commission, Agricorp protects 18,000 farmers, 53 crops and approximately 3.4 million acres in its crop insurance programs. All of its programs are run on a cost-sharing basis, with growers paying half of the premium and the federal and provincial governments picking up the other half. Check them out at http://www.agricorp.com
2) QUEBEC FLAX MILL REOPENS:
A Vancouver Venture Capital Group is making a move into natural fibres with the reopening of a flax fibre processing mill in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec. Quadrant Pacific Capital Corporation, who specialise in international agribusinesses, has acquired the former Gilflax mill and will re-start operations under the name of Fibrex Quebec Inc. The facility will produce flax fibre for export to Europe for conversion into fine linen textiles. The re-opening of the plant is set for June 15th, 1999.
Because the mill can also process industrial hemp fibre, Fibrex will pursue both flax and hemp to cover the full range of environmentally-friendly fibre markets and has contracted to purchase a small amount of hemp this year. Fibrex's marketing will address industrial as well as textile uses, in view of the fast-growing demand in North America for strong, biodegradable natural fibres in a variety of applications.
In reopening the mill, Quadrant has installed new management and plans to invest up to $10 million over the next 4 years to expand operations and to increase value-added processing. Fifteen farmers are growing 200 hectares of fibre flax in 1999, for a price of $150 per tonne. Fibrex plans to increase cultivation to 2,000 hectares of flax and hemp by 2003. Over the same period, mill employment would rise from 8 workers now to up to 40.
Quadrant hopes that this mill will form the basis for a Canadian textile flax and hemp industry. "Our company is very excited about the possibilities that this project brings to the Valleyfield region," says Quadrant President Gordon Bylo. "We recognise that Quebec is ideally situated not only for growing both flax and industrial hemp, but also in terms of export marketing to Europe and the Key eastern US market."
Source: Quadrant Pacific Capital Corp
3) NEW RELEASE FROM HEMPTECH:
HEMP FOODS & OILS FOR HEALTH: your guide to cooking, nutrition and body (Hemptech) by Gero Leson, Petra Pless and Jon Roulac is Hemptech's annual hemp book offering. Large digest sized, and compact at 62 pp., HFOH can easily slip into a carry bag or wide pants pocket.
The Book is full of useful information and succeeds as a hemp primer for the consumer and as a reference tool for those working intimately with the hemp crop. Starting with a 101-hemp lesson, the book quickly delves into the nutritional profiles of hempseed and the details of its Fatty Acid profile. Cleanly executed charts and graphs help explain the statistical data (wish some were in colour though) and make the case for hempseed being a source of excellent, healthy foods. HFOH covers the nutritional and therapeutic uses of hemp oil. Subsequent chapters take us further into the production and storage of hempseed oil, uses in healing body care products, hemp food products, and wraps it up with a selection of recipes. A glossary and selected bibliography form the coda. There is even a blurb from healthy living guru Dr. Andrew Weil on the back cover to bring in the unconverted.
The book also offers a reasoned analysis of the THC content issue and with referral to the recent nova Institute study, concludes that there is no risk of involuntary intoxication. The authors write, succinctly, "The real issue is the high sensitivity of these (urine) tests and their pervasive use."
Read this book: it succeeds because it packages information that is accessible, no matter your level of knowledge.
Hemp Foods & Oils for Health is printed on recycled content paper and the glossy cover is printed on Living Tree's Vanguard Hemp paper. It is available from Hemptech (http://www.hemptech.com); at a retail price of $6.95 US / $9.95 CDN it's in the right price range.
4) THE RACE OF STATES:
Three states, Hawaii, North Dakota and Minnesota have now passed industrial hemp legislation and several other states are considering similar moves. Also up in the air is the unofficial leadership of the American Hemp movement. Hawaii appears to be taking this title, announcing plans for a 10-acre research strip to be planted in September, challenging not only the federal government's authority, but also other states to follow the pace they are setting. The Governor is scheduled to sign the bill authorising the upcoming variety trials on July 7th.
According to Hawaii State Representative Cynthia Thielen, the DEA is reviewing Hawaii's recent request to end the hemp ban, and may be revising their stringent security regulations to make research possible. Hawaii is hoping that industrial hemp production will offset a recent decline in sugar cane production, and lead to, among other things, an ethanol plant.
In other states, Illinois has formed a 13-member Task Force to look at hemp's potential as a cash crop for state farmers. North Dakota, where hemp support has coalesced with Prairie pragmatism, will be keenly monitoring the hemp hot house of neighbouring Manitoba this year.
Meanwhile in Kentucky, many farmers are hoping that hemp production in their state will help replace the uncertainty of tobacco farming (a demon weed, which can garnish up to $6000 an acre.) Efforts on the legislative level appear stalled, though the Kentucky Hemp Growers Association is maintaining its strong state-wide and national lobbying presence. On June 4th, the new Kentucky Hemp Museum was opened in Versailles, Kentucky. While the museum will help to get the word on hemp out, other states may reap the benefits of the KHG's multi-year campaign before the Bluegrass state does.
Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, Lexington Herald-Leader, Minnesota State Rep. Phyllis Kahn
5) CANNABIS GERMPLASM STILL AT RISK:
What's the best choice of cultivar for oil production? How about fibre? Mixed use? Nutraceuticals? As the Canadian hemp industry is reborn, and growers seek the cultivar that will best meet their production goals, plant breeders have a task cut out for them in the development of Canadian cultivars. Identifying and using feral strains is one possibility. Others will cross breed cultivars that are legally available; others may opt for biotechnology as a solution. As no one knows what traits will be required in future years, long term planning and sensitivity to the needs of the future is critical.
Maybe the answers will come from Russia. The Vavilov Research Institute in St. Petersburg is a world storehouse of biological treasures, having over 400,000 seed accessions. It is also the largest single gene bank of cannabis in the world; most of these are classified as low THC chemotypes, and many are unique. Seeds from the former USSR and Eastern Europe predominate, but other varieties in the VIR's holding include seeds from China, Western Europe, and single examples from even Chile and the United States (!).
Reliant on state funding for years, the VIR is now dependent on donations. The International Hemp Association has been crusading its Cannabis Germplasm Preservation Project for years (CGPP) and over a five-year period has successfully reproduced 379 of the 496 Cannabis sativa seed accessions in the VIR gene bank. Many of these strains are still at risk, as there has been a lack of funding to complete the project. The IHA ranks this work as their most important project.
FIN 314 is one cultivar used in Canada that owes its existence to strains stored in the VIR's seed bank. What other possibilities are bagged up in cool storage? A goal of the CGPP is to distribute seed to researchers worldwide. With breeding efforts well underway in Canada, and our production growing quickly, it seems self evident that the Canadian hemp industry should support the VIR's and IHA's valuable project.
Contact Robert Clarke of the IHA at email@example.com or phone (+31) 20 6188758 for more information about the Cannabis Germplasm Breeding Project.
FIBREX QUÉBEC, INC.
Growers and Processors of textile grade Flax and Hemp Fibre
755 boulevard des Érables, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada, J6T 6G3
Contact: Tim Niedermann, Tel: 450-371-0333, Fax: 450-371-2220
Developing sustainable alternatives in international agribusiness
CROSS-CANADA CROP REPORT
By Arthur Hanks; Thanks to Roddy Heading
Who is growing what? Where is the acreage and what is it being grown for?
A survey of the various parties and players involved with hemp in Canada reveals a diverse group of companies and aims. As with last year, every province except Newfoundland has some level of industrial hemp activity. What is unknown is the number of smaller and independent operators who are growing without contracts, and are growing out of interest, personal research and pure speculation. Many contractors related that their plans were changing up to the last minute: as growers dropped out, some were dropping in. Organised chaos I call it.
There are various market indicators. While many growing groups have production contracts and assured markets, others are intently developing the contacts they need to sell the crop. While almost all of Canada's hemp growers report end uses for their grain, fibre use is questionable in some cases. Some companies can process the fibre now, others have reported interest from buyers, or are looking for suitors; for others, its just ag waste to be ploughed back into the soil or burnt.
When the dust settles and the seed drills are towed back to the shop this month, Canada's hemp acreage will look something like this.
MANITOBA 12,000 + ACRES
Roughly half of Canada's 1999 acreage is the work of one company, the American-based CONSOLIDATED GROWERS AND PROCESSORS (CGP), who through the ground level efforts of their Canadian subsidiary, CGP Canada, have turned Manitoba into Canada's first province of hemp. For their high profile, high-acre strategy, CGP has been the subject of much discussion, not all of it positive. This has been exacerbated by an investigation by The Manitoba Securities Commission into fundraising irregularities for investment into numbered companies affiliated with CGP. The situation was compounded by CGP Canada President Doug Campbell leaving the company in late-May.
On the ground level, Manitoba growers are unfazed and have continued to receive seed from the company. As of June 3rd, CGP has imported 70 tons of French seed (Fedora 19 and Fellina 34), and 100 tons of Ukrainian seed (Zolotonosha 11 and 15, USO 14 and 31).
CGP has contracted the lion's share of its 1999 crop to the Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers, who are based out of Dauphin, Manitoba. By last count, at least 8000 acres involving 90 growers were planned for the region; according to Parkland President Joe Fedorowich, acreage is also being set aside for seed multiplication. Other acreage contracted by CGP in Manitoba includes 2300 acres in the McGregor region and 1000 acres in the Interlake/Arborg area. CGP had also contracted growers in Alberta and Saskatchewan. In servicing such large acreages, CGP's Darryl McElroy admits that CGP has been facing logistical challenges, and that a final acreage count was not settled yet. In fact, it could be as high as 15,000 acres.
CGP is committed to paying its farmers a fair return. Last year, their contractors averaged 800 lbs. of grain and 2 tonnes of baled straw for an average gross of $480 an acre. For 1999, CGP is contracting hemp grain for $ 0.55 per lb. and $ 62.50 per long ton for baled straw (FOB plant). Farmers will carry the costs of transport for delivery.
CGP is planning a number of processing facilities for its fibre and oil crops. However, the first, to be set up in Dauphin, will not be running until the year 2000. Plans are to have a temporary oil press operation ready in Dauphin within six months.
Other groups growing in Manitoba include Prairie Hemp, and Hemp Oil Canada. PRAIRIE HEMP is seeing a modest increase from 1998, increasing to 600 acres. With agricultural consultant Jack Moes, PH is conducting fertility trials, seeding rate, and the timing of harvest impact on oil productivity and quality. Using Fasamo exclusively, the end user is Ontario-based Hempola.
Thirty farmers with HEMP OIL CANADA, mostly in the Red River Valley, are growing 750 acres, half of which is seeded with Fasamo and half with three French varieties. There is also a small crop of 20 acres of FIN 314 planted. Hemp Oil Canada is growing in bulk and for their own name products, Prairie Emerald Oil and Prairie Hempnut. Other products include roasted seed, sterilised seed and seedcake. They have also thrown open an exclusively hemp oil press facility in St. Norbert Manitoba, which according to Hemp Oil Canada's Sean Crew, has a capacity of 3 million lbs., and will be available to do custom processing for hemp food products.
Winnipeg-based CANTERRA SEEDS confirms that they have sold 4000 acres worth of Fasamo across the country, from BC to New Brunswick, making it widely available to any grower's group.
MANITOBA AGRICULTURE'S Bruce Brolley confirms that the province is constructing herbicide trials in 1999, arising out of farmers' request for information on the subject (e.g.. "Can I grow hemp after canola?"). Other research follows the goal of determining standard production practises and investigating decortication scenarios and fibre feasibility. While intent on seeing the development of the industry in the province, Brolley urges caution, saying, "Hemp is one crop I wouldn't want to grow as an independent contractor!"
One factor influencing all acreage in Manitoba has been the extremely wet and unseasonable weather. Some growers planted early in May, and had their seeding interrupted, resuming in early June. Others have had to wait until the moisture has subsided. Many Farmers in the southwestern region are looking at 1999 as a complete write off for all crops.
SASKATCHEWAN: 4000 ACRES
CGP is planning between 1500-2000 acres in Saskatchewan, some of this just over the border from Dauphin.
GEN-X is enjoying the notoriety of selling FIN 314, a seed with considerable allure. According to Sasha Prytyk, FIN has been sold out to growers across the country. In Saskatchewan, Gen-X has contracted 900 acres of mixed FIN and Fasamo production, over a third of it being certified organic production. An additional few hundred acres is being dedicated for seed multiplication. Vancouver's BioHemp is the end user of 750 acres and are concentrating on the development of the market for organic oil and grain products.
R&D HEMP is concentrating on supplying its existing clients with raw materials of oil and cake over 450 acres of certified organic production. According to principal Ruth Shamai, they are also contracting "native-grown" with a band in the province. R&D is exclusively using Fasamo.
CRDC has an ambitious breeding and commercial production program. According to Terry Switensky, CRDC is breeding several new strains and is engaged in seed production over 200 acres coupled with up to 800 acres of hemp grain production this year. Some is organic. A fourth component is the commitment to value-added production. "We are not after large acreage," says Switensky, " We emphasise quality and a professional approach with ethics." Al Slinkard (formerly Sask Ag) is working with the Prince Albert-based company.
ONTARIO: +/- 3500 ACRES
KENEX of Chatham, Ontario is holding strong with the same amount of production as last year, with acreage that is a little lower, says Bob Lecuyer, General Manager (Last year Kenex contracted roughly 2000 acres). Kenex is also contracting some organic acreage this year for the first time. Most of the company's growth is in the oil and grain area, with sales in oil picking up, and dramatic gains being made with hempseed (through its Nutiva bar), and hulled hempseed. Kenex is also experiencing fast growth in its horse bedding as well, a new product for them. Kenex is also continuing with its R&D in needle punch matting. Kenex is looking at the long-term payoff for its hemp activities " Our major concern is development in creating new markets," says Lecuyer, "and not in taking someone else's market." As of the first week in June, certified hempseed was still available for late planters.
HEMPLINE has doubled its dedicated fibre acreage this year to 1000 acres. Geof Kime cites that manufacturers are interested in the extra-marketability of hemp, based on the qualities of the plant but also on the continuing "hemp allure". Hempline is concentrating on growing the markets for its fine long fibres, primarily for carpet and upholstery, but also for developing composite products and paper. On the hurd side, Hempline's Hempchips bedding are also proving to be winners in the marketplace. Because of the high quality of the finished fibres that Hempline produces, Kime is able to contract farmers for between $200-300 a ton.
HEMPOLA is growing up to 100 acres of certified organic grain in province this year to supplement their contracted acreage with Prairie Hemp. They are also initiating a government-funded R&D project to investigate pressing technologies. According to Hempola's Greg Herriot, their goal is to develop proprietary procedures for hempseed oil, and high-end seedcake. Complementing this research is the market development; besides launching several new labeled products, Hempola has expanded its distribution network to include 6 distributors in the US and 10 in Canada.
Cloud Mountain Organics and Brant Soil and Crop Improvement Association are involved with smaller acreages.
BC: 1000+ ACRES
CANADIAN HEMP CORP has contracted 800 acres in the Lower Mainland, mostly in Chilliwack. CHC is exclusively using Fasamo, and is positioning itself as a wholesaler. According to CHC's Rick Plotnikoff, the company will be producing for seed, nut, oil and cake, including a brewery, pet food and animal feed. CHC will have a hemp processing operational in Chilliwack by the fall of 1999.
Production on Vancouver Island will remain small, up to 100 acres, despite the interest from many farmers. Reportedly, many farmers want to grow for fibre, and not for grain; accordingly there is lack of facilities and heavy equipment to advance the acreage in the local communities.
There are also several independent contractors scattered around the province, fitting in with BC's agricultural profile as a province of small, niche crop producers.
NOVA SCOTIA- 350+ ACRES
Hemp in Nova Scotia has a long history; it was one of the first crops planted at Annapolis Royal in 1606. Two centuries later, hemp has come full circle, and is being touted as a solution to aid the depressed region. ANNAPOLIS VALLEY HEMP has planted 250 acres of Ferimon, Fasamo, Uniko B, Fedrina and Kompolti in a mix of research-minded and commercial production. According to AVH's Mike Lewis, the company will have a limited supply of oil and seed cake on the market this fall, and are looking at a variety of fibre processes. 1999 is a serious R&D year, he says. AVH has an "arm's around" strategy that links growing quality grain and fibre crops through to processing in the tightly knit Annapolis Valley community. End-uses the company is looking at include paper, fibreboard, and a food bar.
Don Hunter of Pugwash is reportedly heading a second grower's group that will have roughly 100 acres in the ground this year.
ALBERTA: 300? ACRES
Of all the western provinces, Alberta has been blessed with the best weather; much planting was done early when possible. However, hemp production in the province has not jumped up in the way it has with its western neighbours; perhaps, according to one observer, because Alberta's economy is already full of opportunity, and there being less imperative to investigate a risky crop.
CGP has contracted close to 200 acres in province, mostly certified seed production in Alberta (all Ukrainian strains). A group in Vulcan, Alberta has contracted 60 acres. There are also an unknown number of independent growers scattered around the province.
Stan Blade continues agricultural research for Alberta Agriculture. He reports that AA is working with 12 varieties over 3 locations, including for the first time, planting at the Alberta Research Station, which will allow additional data to be gathered. Several trials are planned, including a 10-silage trial comparing hemp's suitability to barley in feeding trials, and another trial investigates hemp's suitability as a fodder crop. The Alberta Research Council is also continuing to pound ahead with its hemp board research
NORTHERN ONTARIO: <100 ACRES
This year, The Thunder Bay Hemp Growers Association obtained support from CanAdapt Small Projects Initiative funding for $50,000 (towards a total project cost of $90,250). Co-ordinated by Gordon Scheifele, this summer's research will focus on trials on grain and fibre, including: evaluation on optimum fertility, seeding time and harvest time. As well, evaluations will be made of fibre quality based on maturity and evaluations of grain quality for oil yield, meal fibre and protein, meal amino acid profile, and oil EFA profile. A component of the study will evaluate hemp fibre for value-added by-products. Efforts are also underway to secure funding for a comprehensive multi-faceted feasibility study on the future potential of the hemp industry for northern Ontario. Seeding trials for livestock and poultry are also being developed.
It is reported the Kenora/ Dryden region has 16 acres of commercial grain production and Thunder Bay has a commercial crop of 10.
NEW BRUNSWICK: <100 ACRES
Chuck Schom is heading up another 10-acre research project this year. There is some small-scale commercial production of unconfirmed acreage.
QUÉBEC: <100 ACRES
A few grower's groups including Chanvre Estrie and Hempco are growing again this year, as well as that a few research projects in the works, including a trial of FIN in the rough northern interior. Fibrex Quebec will also be testing hemp fibres at their reopened flax scutching plant in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.
Hemp research continues on the island at a modest level. More information soon.
END NOTE: Worthy of more than a footnote in this brief survey is the high amount of certified organic acreage, which could be as high as 1500 acres this year. This is a strong market trend, and undoubtedly, this acreage will grow as it can be found.
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HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF AN ORGANIC FARMER WHEN YOUR ORGANIC MATTER IS SO LOW?
By Jon Cloud, Cloud Mountain Organics
You cannot be successful at organic farming if you do not understand the soil fertility cycle. The next series of articles will provide you with a basic understanding of the soil's fertility and where that fertility comes from. The greatest portion of the fertility comes to you free of charge because it comes from the air. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants. The plants keep the carbon (the woody part of the plant) and return the oxygen to the atmosphere. The carbon is the very foundation of the fertility cycle. The amount of carbon you have in your soil is reflected in your soil test results as the organic matter percentage. All the organic farmers working with Cloud Mountain know that we are very committed to having farmers perform soil tests. The certification organisations feel that it is important enough to include as a mandatory part of their regulations (albeit a poorly enforced part.) The reason for this is that the soil test tells you how fertile your soil is.
One of the most important numbers on your soil test is Organic Matter (abbreviated OM). The organic matter is directly related to the amount of nitrogen that you have available in your soil. The Organic Matter (OM) should be 6.5-7%. These numbers are a far cry from the percentage we usually see coming from organic farms. The majority of organic farms show Organic Matter at 2-3%. How can people call themselves organic farmers when their Organic Matter is so low? The OM is the part of your soil that is actively providing nutrients to your crop. Nearly all the nutrients that your crop needs must come from the OM. If you have 6% OM (approximately 10,000 lb. per acre) then approximately 1/3 (3,000 lb.) of this organic matter is active organic matter. This means that you are working with 1/3 of 6% or 2% of the total soil. But the news gets even worse because 50% of this active organic matter is in the form of fungi. The fungi's job is to break down the woody part (carbon) of the OM. The fungi is fed upon by the other beasties in the soil and it is their bodies that provides the nutrients to the plants. So we are working with only the 1% (1,500 per acre) of the soil during any growing season. This 1% is being accumulated and released by the microbes in the form of MM (microbe manure) and their dead bodies. Thus the 1,500 lb. will not be released immediately but rather becomes available throughout the growing season. So, if your soil test shows that you have only 2.5% OM (2,500 lb. per acre) then you are working with only 833 lb. per acre of nutrients (with 1% at 416 lbs.). This means that you can double the productivity of your soil by doubling the OM. Imagine the crops you can get with 3,000 lb. vs. 833 lb. per acre. The best way to increase your yields is to increase your Organic Matter. Cloud Mountain feels that nitrogen hungry crops should only be grown if your soil test is greater than 4.5 % OM.
The Organic Matter test is our primary indicator for figuring out how much nitrogen will be released this growing season. The OM is digested by the microbes. Their digestion produces ammonia, which is further converted to nitrates that are absorbed by plants. The nitrates are highly unstable and will either be absorbed by plants (main crop or cover crops) or be lost to the atmosphere and water run-off. The idea is to build your fertility through increasing organic matter and then to hold that fertility in place through very specific crop rotations. Sandy soils require more attention and a tighter crop rotation. There is no single recipe for establishing crop rotations and building soil fertility. As the rotations for each soil type and growing are very different, the soil types must be treated differently. So call us (416-762-0940) for specific information on soil building.
This article is the first of a four-part series
Cloud Mountain Inc. contracts with certified organic farmers for hemp grain
and fibre production to produce hemp oil as well as a line of hemp, and hemp
cotton socks and sweaters.
Everything is Canadian Made.
Check out the Iron OX fibre and fabric line at 416-762-0940.
US dealers and representatives wanted.
INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD ROSE
Richard Rose is the founder and President of the Rella Good Cheese Company (formerly known as Sharon's Finest), a food product development and marketing firm located in Santa Rosa California. He is also founder, president, and "Chief Hemp Nut" of HempNut Inc., a food company specialising in researching, developing and marketing hempseed foods. He is one of the North American leaders in hemp foods and is also the President of the Hemp Foods Association. The HCFR recently approached Rose to share his thoughts and insights on the future of the hemp foods sector. This interview was conducted by email in late May 1999.
Q1. What food opportunities does hemp have in the North American marketplace and what are the best opportunities?
A1. Nutraceuticals, replacement for soya, flavourants, really just about any food now made with soya or sesame.
Q2. Who is the hemp foods consumer?
A2. The Early Adoptors, socially conscious, hemp-friendly.
Q3. The organic foods marketplace is growing rapidly. What are the opportunities in that sector for hemp foods?
A3. First the material actually needs to be certified organic, not just called organic by people evidentially not realising that there are actual standards relating to the use of such terms. Only then will the market expand in tandem with market growth overall. The best market for organic hemp will be in Europe. Canada missed the boat on this one, with insufficient organic hemp acreage under production last year.
Q4. What do you think is the best vendor for hemp foods at this point? Through supermarkets, specialty food stores, or through new avenues like mail-order/Internet?
A4. Natural foods are where the volume will be, at first. Mail order and other channels will be lesser volume, but still good for niche marketers. Eventually, if enough people demand it, hempseed foods will end up in supermarkets. But not until the drug test question is settled.
Q5. Many food merchants are using sterilised and cheaper Chinese seed for hemp foods. Besides by lowering prices to unprofitable levels, how can Canadians and Canadian hemp competitively step into this market?
A5. The Chinese seed is not necessarily all sterilised or of inferior quality. This year a certain Canadian company ignited a trade war, selling to established customers of another, more-established company, by merely offering low-quality materials at slightly above the cost of production, thereby immediately taking 60% out of the value they could have received. It will go down in history as one of the biggest marketing blunders in hemp history.
The market retail price for hempseed went from US $20/pound to $5 overnight. That's US $15/pound, times 1,000,000 pounds which will likely be the volume the first year, or US $15,000,000, which could have been in the pockets of Canadian farmers, processors, associations, ad agencies, investors, PR firms, researchers, and others. But instead it will be in the consumers' pockets, at a few dollars here and there. And the only farmers who benefited were the Europeans and Chinese since they got the business.
This unwise decision to force the 'commodification' of hempseed cost Canadian farmers, processors and allied businesses much, in dollars but more importantly, in market share. Instead of competing on quality and innovation, they chose to compete where they could never win: on price.
For some bizarre reason they thought that by commodifying hempseed everyone would immediately buy, instead of realising the obvious: a tremendous amount of education must happen first, and only then will the market respond. Once volume is up then farmers/processors will feel the downward pressure on prices and respond by cutting prices as little as possible, and the price will fall in an orderly manner over time. It's a classic product life cycle model. (And such is the case in Europe where shelled hempseed is about 50% more expensive, even though it has been on the market longer than in North America.) But such market education only occurs when the price is high enough to pay for those education efforts. So now here you have the situation whereby volume is low, and prices aren't high enough to sustain an education effort to increase volume, but before education can happen there must be enough money on the table to fund it which isn't the case, and all because of the marketing blunders of one non-grassroots company, who jumped on the hemp bandwagon. It's the worst possible scenario, and it's happening right now.
Additionally, the government has made matters worse by permitting only certain cultivars to be grown. Those are mostly not the best cultivars for hempseed foods, other better cultivars are not permitted, and innovation in developing new and better cultivars for food use are stifled by the regulations. They got hung up on the fear of drug production and let it get the best of them. And Canadian farmers are the poorer for it. There are few agencies helping to co-ordinate the Canadian production, so you have people growing seed using fibre cultivars, and not really understanding just how complex the market for these materials are and what the market really wants.
It does make for opportunities for certain companies, but so far not the farmer. The best thing that could happen is establishment of standards of identity for the grain products, and organisation of a Canadian Hemp Growers Co-operative. This would make everyone work for the benefit of the whole, expanding the market, developing new markets and processing innovations, instead of just trying to take each others' customers away like it is now.
Q6. What kind of quality standards are you trying to create with the Hemp Food Association? How is the HFA dealing with complaints and reports of spoiled product?
A6. Our standards are attached (see HEMP SHORTS). The hempseed food industry started at a very grassroots level, with people never before in business making foods for the first time. And the impact of that showed: worms in products, contamination, more potential customers repulsed by whole seeds than gained, the image of unprofessionalism which has slowed entry into professional food channels, people losing their jobs or going to jail for failing a drug test, and more. With such a poor beginning, some organisation needed to take charge of the industry and try to exert a stabilising and professional influence. Since I had by far the most experience I decided to take on the task, at great personal and financial risk, because it was quite simply the right thing to do.
We now have perhaps the most informative hemp web site www.hempfood.com, especially regarding food, with over 130 documents on it, and more being added. We are funding research into just how much THC in a food will trigger a positive drug test, and ways of preventing it. The HFA Board of Advisors is Dr. Jace Callaway, and Dave Pate and Rob Clarke from the IHA.
We get few complaints regarding spoiled product, probably because we are not a conflict resolution body, but informational. However, bad product is a major problem in the industry, and Canada has some of the worst quality I have ever seen for shelled product. It's what one would expect early in the processing learning curve like Canada is in, but what is troubling is there seems to be little zeal for fixing it. Hopefully, more-professional companies will emerge making quality assurance part of their core competencies. And Quality Grading Standards will help.
Q7. What are some of the challenges in importing hempseed and hempseed foods from Canada? How much is THC levels in foods an issue in the practice of selling to the consumer?
A7. Quality is the biggest problem, and lack of communication between buyers and sellers (market inefficiency). THC is an issue because we have always viewed it as a contaminant of sorts, unlike other food producers who see it as a monkey wrench they can throw into the piss-test machine. It's simply amazing how much some people are willing to let their customers pay the price for their own activism, but they are unwilling to do so themselves.
Q8. Do you have any other comments?
A8. The biggest internal threat to the industry is the widespread theft of intellectual property. Such property is what will propel hemp from the dark ages to a modern renaissance. Something as seemingly small as appropriating one company's trademark for your own use bogs the industry down with internal squabbles and litigation. It seems to stem from the grassroots, anti-corporate nature of hempsters. But far from being anti-corporate, it is actually anti-progress. The industry's inability to respect intellectual property such as trademarks, patents, trade secrets, copyrighted materials, and the like will slow capital formation and innovation, and make further development that much harder. For example, one reason China is still a Third World country is that since patents are ignored there, they don't get patented technologies which could make them a world leader in certain industries.
Everyone can actually help in this regard, if they would only decide to stop stealing intellectual property from others, and also stop supporting those that do steal. This industry is really in desperate need of a therapeutic dose of ethics and integrity. Otherwise, investors will stay away, and innovators will keep their work from others in the industry resulting in slower development overall. That has already happened. Instead of stealing from others, have an original idea, or find a way to get around their inventions. Maybe you'll even come up with a better one, which otherwise wouldn't have happened if you just stole it.
If hempsters would support those successful firms with the best shot at achieving more success, the industry in general would be lifted up. Instead, one sees business neophytes swiping others' ideas and customers, and retarding the effectiveness of those firms with a legitimate shot at making hemp a mainstream product. It really is a sorry situation, and adds fuel to US prohibitionists' claims that hemp should not be permitted because there isn't a market for it.
BioHemp Ltd. Processors and Marketers of Certified Organic Hemp Oil.
Selling high quality organic oil to the cosmetic and restaurant supply industries.
Affordable prices. Please call Jason Freeman, President, at 604-255-7979 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAKING LIGHT WORK IN ANALYSIS OF OILSEEDS, FIBRE, AND FERMENTED BEVERAGES
By Diane Malley and Phil Williams
Canada is famous for its wheat. One of the most important things about Canadian wheat is its excellent bread-baking quality, which in turn depends upon its protein content. Almost all of Canada's wheat is tested for protein by a rapid technique called near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Beginning research on this technology in 1972, Dr. Phil Williams, Senior Scientist in the Grain Research Laboratory of the Canadian Grain Commission, eventually had NIRS equipment placed in grain terminals at shipping ports to guarantee the accuracy of protein content of Canada's export wheat cargoes. Associated with the use of NIRS is the dramatic decline, and recent elimination, of the use of chemicals (some used to contain toxic mercury) for protein testing, and the saving of about $3 million each year in operating costs by the Canadian Grain Commission.
As well as for wheat, NIRS is widely used for rapidly determining oil, protein, and moisture in many oilseeds, including soybeans, canola, rapeseed, flaxseed, and crambe. It is also used for analysing the composition and properties of industrial fibres, particularly textiles, and for testing beer.
NIRS technology with its many advancements since 1972 in instrumentation, including fibre optic probes; sample presentation; and analytical software, is available to the embryonic Canadian hemp industry for quality and compositional testing for both food and non-food products. Most NIR applications are done on whole oil seeds or fibres and involve little, if any, sample preparation. Avoidance of grinding is a big advantage when analysing oilseeds. The presence of oil acts as a pasting agent or as an agglomerating agent resulting in inconsistent particle size and characteristics. NIR results are obtained within a minute or two provided the instrument has previously been calibrated. A single scan of the sample yields an absorption spectrum that contains information on numerous constituents and parameters. NIRS is a rapid, efficient, and thereby, low cost analytical technology.
NIRS works by measuring the absorption of light energy in the near-infrared region (next to and longer in wavelength than visible light) of the electromagnetic spectrum. All natural materials are made up of molecules that are constantly vibrating. Bonds between light atoms, such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, particularly absorb the energy in this region. Under the influence of irradiation by light, some molecules change their energy level. This causes absorption of energy at specific wavelengths. By measuring the reduction in energy at these wavelengths, it is possible to determine accurately the amount of constituents present.
This paper describes some of the specific applications of NIRS that should prove useful for the cost-effective analysis of hemp products.
NIRS is useful for determination of composition (including % oil, % protein) in oilseeds such as canola, safflower, flax, rapeseed, sesame seed, and cottonseed, and oil-bearing legumes, such as soybeans and groundnuts. It can also be used to determine minor constituents including anti-nutritional factors, such as glucosinolates in canola, and factors affecting quality, such as content of chlorophyll in canola. Fatty acid composition has been determined in husked sunflower seeds by NIRS. Specific fatty acids determined in whole canola seed include palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic and as well as total saturated fatty acids.
It is expected that in the future prices for oilseed will be based on quality factors such as oil and protein content, chlorophyll level, and possibly fatty acid composition. These trends may extend to hempseed and oils, provided the factors that affect quality can be readily and inexpensively measured.
For example, a 1998 NIR spectrum taken for hemp oilseed shows a sharp peak at 670 nm (wavelength). This peak is caused by chlorophyll, which is a likely grading factor in industrial hemp.
A valuable application of NIRS is for the screening for quality factors in breeding programs. Since the sample is not destroyed in the analytical process, the material can later be planted.
Despite widespread use of NIRS in the food industry, until recently considerably less research had been conducted on applications in the textile industry. Much of the use of NIRS has been for qualitatively distinguishing among fibres such as rayon, polypropylene, nylon (two types), wool, cotton, PET (polyethylene terephthalate), and acrylic. Even similar cellulosic fibres such as cotton, flax, and ramie can be clearly distinguished qualitatively by their distinctive NIRS spectra.
Quantitative use of NIRS includes analysis of blends, for example, for cotton/polyester ranging from 75/25 to 25/75, or cotton/flax from 10 to 40 % flax. US law requires that garments must maintain a fibre blend ratio within 3% of the stated blend on the label. In recent years, NIR methods have replaced several chemical and physiochemical tests that are routinely performed in textile plants. The conventional test for measuring blends takes 4 hours and involves the destruction of one of the fibres and measurement of the loss of weight.
For blends involving similar fibres such as cellulosic flax, cotton, and ramie, or proteinaceous wool, mohair, cashmere, and angora, the destructive method is not effective. Microscopic analysis is used conventionally. The analysis is very difficult to perform and can only be carried out in specialised laboratories. NIRS analysis, based on spectral differences, can be more reliable.
In approximately 75 textile plants in the US, quality control on the proportions of various fibres in blends is assured by NIRS. These blends include polyester/cotton, polyester/acrylic, wool/polyester, wool/cotton, rayon/polyester, and acrylic/cotton. The textile industry utilises high speed and sophisticated technology to achieve high productivity and high quality. NIRS is a compatible testing method giving process/product information in real time in the process stream.
Functional properties such as maturity and fineness parameters of cotton fibres have been estimated by NIRS. These parameters include cross-sectional areas calculated from Arealometer determinations, specific surface, causticaire maturity index (%), and micronaire reading (fineness). Cotton maturity is an important property for fabric quality and dye uptake that has been automated in textile manufacturing plants by the use of NIRS, thus replacing a 15 minute to 4 hour test with a 20 second one.
The NIR technique is used on-line in textile manufacturing for the control of sizing. In this process, a film-forming resin such as starch, polyvinyl alcohol, or polyacrylic acids is applied to yarn to provide a protective coating. Resin provides strength and surface characteristics to the yarns so that they withstand forces involved in weaving. NIRS has been found useful as well for the determination of the amount of two durable press resins on cotton fabrics.
Areas of future research should include the ability of NIRS to predict mechanical properties of hemp fibres, such as tensile strength and tolerance of impact loading, bending stresses and abrasive forces, not only in textiles but also for numerous non-textile products.
NIRS has a place in the compositional and quality analysis of beer. It is used for measuring such constituents as ethanol, maltose, original extract of beer, free amino nitrogen, and total soluble nitrogen.
Despite its speed, efficiency, and flexibility, as the method of analysis in industrial applications, NIRS is subject to certain drawbacks. The technology is most advantageous when large numbers of routine analyses are to be performed. A major up-front task in the use of NIRS is the need to develop calibrations for each constituent or parameter in each type of product using a set of representative samples that have been analysed by conventional methods. Furthermore, NIRS has always to be supported by conventional analysis on a portion of samples tested, such as 5%, to ensure on-going accuracy of the calibration. Although the cost of NIRS instruments is gradually declining, instrumentation costs are reasonably high. When the NIRS is used for high through-put routine analyses, however, the instrument cost is easily offset by the savings in cost of conventional analyses, and the economic advantage of the timely availability of data.
It is expected that NIRS can serve numerous uses in the analysis of hemp crops and their food and industrial products, as it does for many other commodities globally. For quality testing, control, and marketing, the emerging hemp industry in Canada today can avoid establishing many of the high cost, cumbersome, chemical and physical testing methods of past decades in favour of rapid, non-destructive methods such as NIRS. Moreover, the industry can avoid the use of considerable amounts of chemicals for testing consistent with hemp's environmentally friendly vision.
Credits: "Making Light Work" was the title of the 4th International Conference on Near Infrared Spectroscopy held in Aberdeen, Scotland, 19-23 August 1991. "Let me make light work for you!" is the slogan used by David W. Hopkins, NIRS Consultant, Battle Creek, MI
Diane F. Malley is President of PDK Projects, Inc., a new company devoted to agricultural and environmental applications of near-infrared spectroscopy. Phil Williams is Head of Analytical Methods Development Section, Grain Research Laboratory, Canadian Grain Commission, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
RAPID OIL OR SEED PRODUCT QUALITY TESTING PDK specialises in rapid, cost-effective near-infrared spectroscopy used to analyse protein in Canada's export wheat. We provide seminars, consult on quality standards, test composition and quality. PDK Projects, Inc., 365 Wildwood Pk., Winnipeg MB R3T 0E7 Call: 204-475-2899, Fax: 475-6090, email email@example.com , http://www.pdkprojects.com
LOTS OF WAYS TO NOT GET A COMMERCIAL CROP - FEW WAYS TO KILL IT
By Chuck Schom, Surge Inc.
Giving advice about growing Industrial Hemp can be tricky. It isn't so much that the information available is wrong as it is folkloric and specific to one set of conditions. There are a number of differences in approach and interpretations, coming from small lot recreational culture that turn out to be erroneous when generalised to Industrial Hemp culture. The same is true of inferences drawn from European Agricultural practices. Small lot recreational and European culture are still the main source of our Agronomic information.
Growing a commercially viable Industrial Hemp crop can be tricky. Killing it is tough. It is no silver bullet.
Ten one-acre sites were planted in New Brunswick in 1998. Six produced fibre crops giving yields within 70 days, ranging up to 4,000 lbs. per acre. Four did not produce commercially viable crops having yields in the range of 500 lbs. per acre. None produced a commercially viable seed crop. The high seed yield from hand-harvested sets was 300 lbs. per acre which given the 30% or so left in the field by machine harvesting, yields of maybe 180 lbs. per acre.
Now for some details. Industrial Hemp is a very heavy feeder, needs well-prepared fertile land, lots of moisture throughout the growing season followed by a dry Fall. You cannot just go out and throw some seed on raw land and expect to get a good crop.
It does seem to be able to grow in land that has pH as low as 5.4 through to 7 plus. Poor growth was associated with moving out of that range. The plants do need a great deal of nitrogen, but nitrogen is not the whole story as excellent land, land with a soil index of 6.9 and just Urea-added, did not give as good growth as land with a soils index of 6.6 with Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphate added. The form the elements are in seems to be very important.
The fibre crop failures fall into two categories: environmentally caused (Sites T & R) and farmer error (sites M & N). Site T's failure was associated with the dual insult of poorly tilled land with low fertility and very little rainfall. However, of special note is the fact that there was no mortality to speak of. The plants grew very slowly, but they did mature and did produce seed.
Site R was even more interesting. It had excellent soil with a soils index of 6.9 to 7.0. Initially it received excessive rain that did tend to slow the plants up a bit. Then it dried and they began to catch up with the other sites. However, the drying continued for three weeks, which appears to have lead to a drought-induced calcium deficiency not unlike the one found in tomatoes which leads to end rot and actually death of the meristematic tissue. This effect did not kill most of the plants - they put out side shoots, matured and produced seed.
Site M was planted very late on July 20th. However, the seed did germinate - with the exception of one cultivar - grow to maturity and produce seed. Even though it was planted a month behind the other sites, its maturation was no more than a week or so behind the other sites by mid-September.
Site N operator put no fertiliser on his crop. It grew, but not well.
While there appeared to be qualitative differences between the four cultivars used in the research, no statistically significant differences were identifiable. This was most likely due to the extremes in size of plants within a cultivar treatment set. They were often order of magnitude differences in plants right next to each other. Some of this did appear to be inherited, that is genetic. Thus, the variance was just too large within a cultivar to allow for identification of differences between the cultivars.
On the other hand the interaction of the fertiliser treatments with the cultivars was statistically significant. That is, there was a consistent difference between the cultivars in their response to the fertiliser treatments. One of the most obvious was the reduced emergence of the Hungarian Cultivars in the Highest Fertiliser treatments when compared with lower levels of application. This interaction was different for the Hungarian cultivars and the Romanian cultivars. The Romanian cultivars showed no reduction in emergence attributable to fertiliser.
There was nothing about any of the industrial hemp that kept insects away. Black Flies and mosquitoes loved it and the author as he worked his way through the fields. Both domestic and bumble bees harvested the pollen. One co-operator keeps bees and had, as has been reported by others, a unique-looking, cloudy but very tasty honey. Unfortunately, insect liking for the hemp does not stop at those that either do more damage to man than the plants or those that man likes to keep around.
Ladybugs were in evidence which most likely means so were aphids. Tarnish plant bugs were very much in evidence - the author counted eight on one male flower. Grasshopper and Flea Beetles left their calling card holes in the leaves. Several flocks of birds found enough insects available as food to spend much of each day in the one-acre plot.
While none of the pest activity seemed to impact on the crop this year, the indications are certainly there that they could in the future. It would seems necessary to take care to rotate this crop or we may soon end up with a number of pests whose taste and numbers run to hemp, thus the applications of pesticides to control their numbers.
On the other hand one concern never materialised. Deer and moose did not come near the crop after the first few weeks. Any of you who have worked around it know that the crop has a strong odour. Deer and moose do not seem to like the smell. This seems true for domestic cattle as well, as when in the same field they stayed clear of the crop. They did not go through it to get to clover but went around it. (This was the stunted crop at Site R as it was maturing in late September.)
As was mentioned above there was no seed crop harvested in New Brunswick. About September 15 or so the plants throughout the region, including sites 300 or more kilometres apart, were all hit with Botrytis, an ubiquitous fungal infection for which there does not seem to be any preventative or curative. It did not prevent all seed from maturing or kill the industrial hemp plants. It did turn what was developing as a high yield seed crop into a very low yield.
Further THC levels following the infection of the plants climbed markedly. In fact, the New Brunswick levels were some of the highest in Canada.
In conclusion then, industrial hemp has potential. It can be grown in New Brunswick, and from reports, throughout the rest of Canada. Getting a commercial grade crop will be trickier then some have thought. It is likely to remain pesticide-free only so long as care is taken to rotate it often enough and plant it far enough from where it was planted in the previous years. It is no silver bullet.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) Schom completed degrees in Agriculture from UBC, Texas A&M University and the University of California, all in the Faculties of Agriculture. He spent 15 years as an academic with his last position being the five-year IBM Chair of Marine Science at the University of New Brunswick. His recent work with hemp is a return to his Agriculture roots.
1998 NEW BRUNSWICK RESEARCH IS AVAILABLE A full 50-page
report on Chuck Schom's 1998 New Brunswick research is available directly
from the author for $15.00 plus shipping and handling. Purchase can be made
either by cheque, money order, Visa or MasterCard. Contact the author by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
HEMP FOOD ASSOCIATION'S GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTISES: Healthy hemp foods are recognised as one of the fastest growing segments of the industry. However, hemp food on the shelves with residual amounts of non-intoxicating THC has led to conflicts with existing drug testing practises. According to Hemp Food Association Director, Richard Rose, this conflict is a threat to the development of the marketplace. Accordingly, the HFA has developed high quality standards and a code of conduct so that the industry can regulate itself. The HFA's pledge includes the following promises:
In meeting these regulatory goals, the HFA advocates using dehulled or shelled hempseed in food products. For more information on the HFA, check out their website, www.hempfood.com , or contact Richard Rose at 707-571-1330.
Source: Hemp Food Association
NORTHERN ONTARIO HEMP INITIATIVES UPDATE: Some of the most interesting and ambitious research in hemp production is being conducted in Northern Ontario. Last year, Gordon Scheifele, OMAFRA's northern research coordinator oversaw a large-scale project involving 32 two hectare strip trials across the region. This research has produced three reports, which are now posted on the OMAFRA web site: http://www.gov.on.ca/omafra (use HEMP for your search):
1) FINAL REPORT: Determining the Feasibility and Potential of Field production of Low THC Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa) for Fibre and Seed Grain in Northern Ontario. By Gordon Scheifele. 2) A Brief Analysis of Characteristics of Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Grown in Northern Ontario in 1998. By Herb Hinz. 3) 1998 Ontario Studies in Determining the Genetic Stability, Environment and Latitude Effect on the Levels of delta-9 THC for industrial hemp varieties. By Gordon Scheifele
The Final Report is a thorough look on the many results and findings on the large scale 1998 project, and is studded with photographs, additional commentary and insight. "Characteristics of Industrial Hemp", reviewed in the May issue of the HCFR, is a grain and oilseed analysis of the several cultivars used in the research project. The "Genetic Stability" study highlights the problematic strains Secuieni 1 and Irene 50, two strains no longer on the List of Approved Cultivars.
Source: Gordon Scheifele, OMAFRA Northern Research Coordinator
NEW PRODUCTS TO LOOK FOR: With the rush on Canadian acreage this year, there will be at least half a dozen edible cold-pressed hemp oils fighting for stock space in North American stores this fall. Hempola, one of the Canadian pioneers in hemp oils, is moving ahead of the pack with several new products launched over this winter and spring, including Hempola salad dressing, Hempola Cold Pressed Hempseed Oil Dietary Supplement (in gel capsules) and high protein flours available in bulk. The Salad dressing, available in three flavours - Traditional Caesar, Herbalicious Vinaigrette and Honey Dijon - combines hemp's well-known functional foods profile with the flavouring that many consumers enjoy.
For more information, call 1-800-240-9215 or check out http://www.hempola.com.
The Nutiva Bar: the nutty hempseed treat, is the first seed bar made with hulled hempseed s. Manufactured by Ottawa's Honeybar Products International with hulled seed from Kenex, and distributed by Hempbrokers.com, the 1.4-oz Nutiva is a honey-coated mix of sunflower, hemp, flax and pumpkin seeds in a tasty and texturally pleasing snack. For more information on the bar, or for bulk Nutiva (hulled hempseed), check out http://www.nutiva.com , http://www.hempbrokers.com or call 1-800-993-HEMP.
Note: Hempola and Nutiva are products.
HOLY HEMP HUMMOUS!
With the nutty addition of hempseed to hummous, prepare yourself for a culinary mouthgasm!
3 cups cooked chick peas 2-4 large cloves of garlic (depending on if you want to talk to people afterwards, or in the case of 4 cloves, just feed it to everyone around) 1/4 cup of ground hempseed 3/4 cup filtered water 1 t sea salt, 1 t miso, or 2 t soy sauce Blend these ingredients till smooth in a food processor.
Add: 1/3-cup fresh squeezed lemon 1/4 cup tahini 1/4-cup olive or hemp oil Blend again until creamy in the food processor.
Serve with pita wedges or vegetable chunks. Enjoy!
Source: Eric Hughes, CHI Hemp Industries Inc., http://www.chii.com
MAG BAG: Though at this point, the HCFR is available only online, we still love our printed paper magazines. Two items that have come in through our mailbox lately deserve wide readerships and mention in the HCFR.
ECOFARM AND GARDEN: Canada's voice for organic food and growing alternatives, is a quarterly journal jointly published by Canadian Organic Growers (COG) and Resource Efficient Agriculture Production (REAP) Canada. The spring issue marks the first anniversary of the editorial marriage of EFG's predecessors, COGNITION and SUSTAINABLE FARMING. Articles run the gamut, from going organic, beginning beekeeping, BC's first organic cheese operation, Y2K, corn grazing for cattle and organics in Argentina. Well-written and thoroughly researched departments and recurring features offer a bevy of information for farmers, marketers and the consumer. Well-selected advertisements serve all of those groups. For more information on EFG, contact Tomas Nimmo, Advertising Manager at 1-705-444-0923, email: email@example.com .
"Where are the markets?" is a common enough refrain in industry circles. A closely related question is "Who is the hemp consumer?" Well, according to Telluride California's wonderful MOUNTAINFREAK magazine, many of them are just nature loving, extreme living and thinking human beings looking for positive alternatives, adventure and some good clean fun. Mountainfreak's Summer issue (#9) boasts a strong Hemp 101 feature, penned by editor Suzanne Cheavens with (ex-Hemptimes editor) Marta Zmoira, a tree free section printed on Ecosource Paper's ECO 21 hemp/flax and cotton blend, and advertising from close to 20 hemp companies. And there's not a single tie die in sight (if fashion crimes worry you). If you want to have some adventure in your marketing mix, to do some demographic or psychographic research or just want to read a fun lifestyle magazine, check them out at http://www.mountainfreak.com
Are you an uncontracted hemp grain farmer looking for a market?
Call BioHemp Ltd., processors and marketers of hemp grain and hemp oil products.
Contact Marty Frost, Chief Operating Officer of at 604-251-6710 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org No pesticide or herbicide application please.
Looking for Hemp Nuts?? - Hemp Oil Canada Inc. - email: email@example.com
WHY NOT print this out on HEMP PAPER and pass it around? Contact Green Man in Vancouver about mail order. (604) 708-4403. firstname.lastname@example.org
WORKING IN FOOD OR AGRICULTURE? Wherever you are in Canada, QAC will assemble the resources and funding you need to get your business up and running. Specialising in small and medium-sized ventures. Contact Ron Schnider, President, Quality Assurance Consulting, at (604) 732-8203, Fax (604) 732-8273 or email at email@example.com
REACH A WIDE QUALIFIED AUDIENCE THROUGH ADVERTISING IN THE HCFR. Sponsorship and positions are also available. For more information, please contact Jason Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org
AHEM - CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY
Writing, Editing and Research Services, Media Outreach, Business-to-Business Communications, and Grant Writing. Contact Arthur Hanks Editing and Media Services, 909 Windermere St., Vancouver, BC, V5K 4J6. Call (604) 255-4332 or email email@example.com
SUPPORTING ADVERTISERS IN THIS ISSUE:
SGS Canada Inc, Peter_Taylor@sgsgroup.com , http://www.sgs.ca .
Fibrex Quebec Inc, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hedron Analytical, http://www.hedron.ca
Cloud Mountain Inc, 416 762 0940
BioHemp Ltd., email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
PDK Projects Inc., email@example.com http://www.pdkprojects.com
Surge Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tell Them You Saw it in the HCFR!
(c) 1999 AHEM, ARTHUR HANKS. NOT TO BE DUPLICATED FOR FINANCIAL OR PERSONAL GAIN. CONTACT US ABOUT REPRODUCTION RIGHTS.