Volume 1, Issue 6, November/December 1999 ISSN 1488-3988
© 1999 AHEM, ARTHUR HANKS.
This issue of the HCFR is proudly brought to you by Hemptown Clothing Inc. makers of fine, Canadian made hemp clothing since 1995. Tell us you saw our ad in the HCFR and take part in our special Christmas offer on Hemptown shirts available only to readers of the HCFR Quantities are limited. Email: email@example.com subject line HCFR
IN THIS ISSUE:
To the Editor
Top of the Crop
1) Kenex Resumes Shipping
2) Hemp as a Novel Food
Harvest Notebook, Part II
The Benefits of Regulation
Traditional Uses of Culinary Hempseed
Performance-Based Industrial Hemp Fibres Will Drive Industry Procurement in the 21st Century, (Part I)
Leaders in Fibre Utilisation
Manipulation of Fibre
Farming the Ag Internet
The Farm Crisis for Non-Farmers
Les échos du Chanvre
Recipe: Carrot/Hemp muffins
More hemp history
BC Industrial Hemp Grower's Association AGM
OHA Kick-started with Public Funding
Upcoming Industry Events
Guelph Organic Show
Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo
Editor: Arthur Hanks firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales, Sponsorship, and Distribution:
Jason Freeman email@example.com
Dr. Alexander Sumach firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE:
Chris Bennet, Dave Cull email@example.com , Terry Lefebvre firstname.lastname@example.org, Melvin Laidlaw email@example.com, David Marcus firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter Nelson email@example.com, Eric Pollit firstname.lastname@example.org, George Roy email@example.com , Gordon Scheifele firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBMISSIONS: Submissions are most welcome. Please contact HCFR editor, Arthur Hanks, at email@example.com, with your story, research or information for inclusion in the HCFR. We are also looking for good quality pictures and photos.
Welcome to the 6th Issue of the HCFR. A lot has happened since our last instalment, most notably the reopening up of the US border to Canadian Hemp. Because of a combined effort of industry stakeholders on both sides of the 49th parallel, a quick and smart Internet strategy and some pressure from the Canadian government, reason prevailed. After only two years of commercialisation in Canada, it is a sign of strength to see the industry meeting this latest challenge. Everyone deserves a collective pat on the back.
On this side of the border, industry and government are communicating with regards to the current hemp regulations. Please pay attention to David Marcus' article "The Benefits of Regulation". Feedback on this article from both the government and industry is greatly appreciated.
With this issue, we are also taking a look back and a look forward. Dr. Sumach's article on "Traditional Uses of Culinary Hempseed" is another informative work by Canada's leading hemp writer. Peter Nelson's article "Performance-Based Industrial Hemp Fibres" is a provocative look at the future of hemp farming and industrial fibres.
We would also like to wish a warm welcome to some new additions to the HCFR cyber-community with this issue, HempCyberFarm and Global Hemp. We are excited that the HCFR will now reach a larger audience and we hope that with every web page we add to our roster of internet partners, we will create more productive networking, more marketplace awareness and more product sales.
And as we enter the next millennium, watch out world, here comes the hemp industry.
PS we are not yet done for this year, watch for our year end special issue!
PRINT THIS ISSUE OUT ON HEMP PAPER. YOU WILL ENJOY READING IT MORE
To the Editor:
Impossible to Consider?
"Contemporary pulp mills operate on economies of scale where bigger is definitely better. These operations have to run seamlessly with little or no downtime for the mills to turn a profit due to their immense size and overhead expenses. If these mills do not operate at 90% capacity or more, they are losing money on each ton they sell. This fact makes the idea of conservation impossible to even consider. " Hemp Pulping: 101, by Mark Bologna, HCFR #5, October 1999
'Impossible to consider' for those managers with their feet firmly nailed to the present day bottom line. These mills have to keep running 24 hours a day in order to service the huge debts incurred in the process of constructing the facilities. The game plan, perhaps, is to have the loans paid down before the supply of easily 'harvested' trees disappears.
There are alternatives. Tigney Technology of Edmonton ( http://www.compusmart.ab.ca/tigney/ ) has designed a steam explosion technology that produces high-grade pulp from a wide range of fibre sources, including hemp or other agricultural fibres. The latest plan is to supply add ons for existing pulp mills that would allow them to utilise whatever sources are regionally or seasonally available. Tigney's process attains 97% recovery and instead of turning the lignin into dioxins and other toxics, separates it out into a commercial product, suitable for use as glue, etc.
John Stahl, at ' Church of the Living Tree' ( http://www.tree.org/ ) is working with the Krotov pulping technology from the Ukraine that obtains approx. 60% recovery from hemp, with a compostable slurry as the effluent. This equipment can be made in a smaller format, suitable for localised applications.
The problem with introduction of either of these applications is the economic/political opposition to anything that might interrupt the lucrative supply of chemicals to the existing pulp mills and fuel for the steady stream of 'chip trucks' that fill BC's interior highway system.
Perhaps this issue deserves a continuing examination?
David A N Cull, Vancouver, BC, firstname.lastname@example.org
The HCFR invites commentary, opinions and letters to the editor. Feedback will be posted with the writer's consent, and may be edited for brevity, grammar, and content.
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Top of the Crop
1) US Border Reopens as Kenex Resumes shipping
Kenex Ltd of Chatham Ontario quietly resumed shipping in November after a three-month hold-up by the Unites States Custom service and Drug Enforcement Administration. A deal was quietly brokered on November 4th in Washington, DC.
Kenex owner, Jean Laprise called the agreement a guarded win. "An issue has been resolved for the entire industry," he said. "Getting the Canadian government involved was a major factor. The DEA didn't suspect we had so many friends in politics and the industry."
In a statement released November 25th, Laprise stated that "Kenex is very grateful for the support it received from the industry as a whole, both in Canada and the US. The NAIHC, the HIA, the Canadian Embassy as well as politicians from both the US and Canada were quick to realize the injustice that had been taking place. Their support and efforts were greatly appreciated."
While the 17 recalls have been rescinded the trailer load of birdseed that was seized in August remains in the custody of US Customs. A release offer was made to Kenex reported to be "a seizure cost" between $5,000-$10,000 range and requiring that the company sign a "hold harmless" agreement. Kenex refused the offer, and is considering legal action against the US government.
The 18,000-kg shipment was to a large company that has been importing hempseed from China for their seed mixes for several years.
Kenex is also seeking formal documentation from the DEA to insure that there will be no recurrence.
The border is open for the time being. Speculation is that the unwritten DEA policy on hemp goods that equates all forms of THC as a Schedule I substance will likely be posted in the Federal Register for public review, and then come into law. This law would apply to all hemp goods entering the country, regardless of country of origin.
Source: Kenex.org, Senator Milne's report, London Free Press, Detroit Metro Times
Related: Please see "the Benefits of Regulation" in this issue
2) The Novelty of Hemp Foods
Hemp foods in Canada are now to be regulated as a Novel Food. As defined in Health Canada's Food Program, a Novel Food is:
a) a substance, including a microorganism, that does not have a history of safe use as a food;
b) a food that has been manufactured, prepared, preserved or packaged by a process that has not been previously applied to that food, and causes the food to undergo a major change.
Newness to the Canadian marketplace is also relevant concern in determining food safety.
According to a letter by Eric Driscoll, Scientific Evaluator for Health Canada's Food Directorate, that was recently circulated to companies working with hemp foods, "because hemp containing foods do not appear to have a long history of safe use according to the definition of a novel food, it is our interim position that foods containing hemp-derived ingredients are novel foods and, therefore, proposed hemp-containing products will likely fall under the novel food regulations. "
So what does these regulations mean? This is unclear. Novel Foods as a regulatory category originated in 1994 in anticipation of GMO foods entering the marketplace. Foods that have entered the Canadian food supply under these regulations include Glyphosate tolerant corn and canola and the Flavr Savr tomato. "Novel Foods" is essentially a form of self-regulation that allows for accountability in case of problems in the food chain.
In hemp's case manufacturers or distributors are required to forward a notification of the intention to sell products containing hemp-derived ingredients to the Food Directorate, including the analytical data for the level of THC and the amount of each ingredient used in the food product.
Health Canada's policy towards THC is still under review. If the existing standard allowing for hemp content of 10 parts per million is changed, then perhaps this legislation may become the basis for more stringent regulations.
For more information about novel foods please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Or check out:
Related: Traditional Uses of Culinary Hempseed in this issue
Harvest Notebook, Part II
(Continued from last issue)
Fasamo final stand was less than desired due to poor germination and seedling vigour. It was also subsequently very weedy. Regardless it yielded in excess of 1000 lbs. / acre. Grain samples yielded 27% oil (at extraction). The oil and meal will be analysed for essential amino acids and fatty acids. Botrytis head blight was again prevalent across northern Ontario from trace to light infection levels.
Gordon Scheifele, Northwestern Ontario Research Coordinator, email: email@example.com
Kenex's 1999 hemp crop was subjected to a significant amount of drought stress. Hemp does have some drought resistance like many other crops; however, it is not exactly a desert weed. Yields of fibre and grain were down from 1998 similar to what was experienced in corn and other crops in this area. The organic grain yields are approximately 20% less than the conventional pesticide free production. The quality of the grain is very good at this point. The fibre quality is expected to be better than in 1998 due to the more favourable retting conditions. Much has been learnt again this year on the production of this crop.
Kenex Ltd., http://www.kenex.com
Portage La Prairie
We recently harvested the variety USO 31 and were very pleased with a yield of 1040 lbs. per acre (before drying), its shorter height, short days to maturity, and ease of harvest. Considering the wet ground it was seeded into and almost drowning out after seeding, it did very well. Maybe a shot at 2000 lbs./acre next year.
George Roy, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling all producers! Please send us your harvest data for inclusion in the HCFR!
Manitoba Harvest Overview
Manitoba hemp farmers averaged between 750-850 lbs. of clean and dry seed, with an upper range of 1400 lbs. an acre in 1999. These yields are similar to last year, says Agronomist Bruce Brolley of Manitoba Agriculture.
However, farmers in the north had tougher weather than their southern counterparts. Heavy winds in some areas caused significant lodging. Fields affected by a lot of lodging yielded between 200-500 lbs. an acre lower. Generally, farmers in the Dauphin/Parkland area had yields of 200-1000 lbs./acre (wet), translating as a wide ranging 150-850 lbs. of dry grain.
According to Brolley, there were also less fibre surprises in 1999, as forewarned producers have had success making adaptations to rotary combines. A bigger problem has been with wet seed; with larger acreages under production this year, producers have had to pay more attention to issues of drying, spoilage and storage, clumpage and chaff content
Complementing the commercial activity in the province (19,000 licensed acres) has been Manitoba Agriculture' s continued research efforts conducted on a variety of sites throughout the province. Provincial agronomists and commercial growers are still learning, Brolley says, as every year is different. Research has continued on breeding and cultivar evaluations. Pests that have been reported this year include corn borer, sclerotinia, botrytis, and lygus. Another question that has been raised is how seed drying will affect the oil's nutritional profile.
What's the ideal harvest window? Based on two years of production and research in the province, Brolley believes that the harvest window is fairly narrow: a range of 4-10 days may be optimal. Ideally seed moisture should be in the mid 20's to low 30's (%). Given a late May planting, "early" varieties should be harvested starting in early September and late varieties could be harvested up to mid-October. Harvesting too early means higher moisture, a higher amount of chaff and a tougher time drying. Harvest too late and seed is lost through shattering, and the fibre becomes tougher to work with.
Nature is always a wildcard, he emphasises. An early Manitoba frost in September, followed by 2-3 days of sunny warm weather, created an "oven-dried effect", causing green leaves to became brittle in a period of 4 days ÷ harvest conditions moved from ideal to too late in 96 hours.
What are growers' thinking? " The mood is all over the board, " says Brolley, "' From I will never grow this again' to 'I grew some and I want to grow more.' " He's pleased with the recent establishment of the Manitoba Industrial Hemp Association but is uncomfortable with Canada (and Manitoba) being the #1 producer of hempseed at this point. He would like to see more cautious development.
In the future, Brolley is thinking of advising farmers to think of hemp as more like a bean crop than a wheat crop. A good management move would be to plant a smaller acreage (say 50 acres rather than 100-200) and concentrate on good stewardship. "If you want to do high acreages, split it between early flowering and late flowering varieties to maximise yields, " he says.
For comparison's sake, other new crops that have received interest in Manitoba include buckwheat (45,000 acres this year), corn hybrids including canamaize (140,000 acres), caraway and Echinacea. Brolley emphasises that there is no "magic bullet" out there, but admits hemp as having the most potential, driven in part by the grain's exceptional nutritional profile, but also because of fibre possibilities. While research was focussed on grain production this year, Manitoba Agriculture will be spending more time and effort next year and in the future developing a balanced fibre and oil seed industry in the province.
Findings of the 1999 research are to be published and made available online though the Manitoba Agriculture web site in January 2000.
Related: See Upcoming Events for the latest information on Hemp 2000 Speaker Series and Trade Show, February 29th and March 1st, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The Benefits of Regulation
By David Marcus
The recent release of Canadian hempseed shipments seized by US Customs under the authority of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was a critical victory in the long running battle to bring hemp back into the mainstream. For the majority of Canadian hemp farmers and processors whose primary product is hempseed in its various forms, access to the US market is crucial. As these recent events have clearly shown, however, this dependence on the US market has a significant associated risk.
The question of why the DEA seized these birdseed (sterilised hempseed) shipments in the first place is essential in understanding the nature of the risk facing the Canadian hemp industry with its focus on hempseed products. It should be of no surprise that once again it is THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, that is the culprit (or perhaps more correctly is made to be the culprit). Although hempseeds themselves contain no THC it is inevitable that some trace amounts of THC are to be found on the casings of the seeds, and it is against these trace amounts that the DEA overreacted.
The levels of THC to be found in any hempseed or derivative product are more than 1000 times lower than the levels required for any psychoactive effects. Rather, for the DEA the issue wasn't people getting high from hempseeds, but rather using hempseed consumption as a viable defence against testing positive on a drug test. In fact, despite denying it initially, the DEA finally admitted "it was acting on concerns over the allegations that legal hemp products could affect the outcome of the commonly employed urine tests." That the DEA conceded and released the seized shipments of Canadian hempseed was neither a sign of good will nor of tolerance but rather a concession that Canadian hempseed cannot result in positive drug tests.
Yes, it is important to note that this is the case specifically for Canadian hempseed. Thanks to Health Canada's stringent and demanding regulations, Canadian producers of hempseed are required to test all hempseed products to insure that they contain less than 10 parts per million THC. When Health Canada first came out with these regulations they were seen by many in the industry as overly constraining. Although it's true that producers run some risk of producing a crop which is not marketable by virtue of being over the THC limits, practical experience has shown that these levels are indeed achievable. Moreover, they result in a uniformly high quality product which can be consumed in any quantity without running the risk of testing positive on a drug test.
Another potential risk that faces the Canadian hempseed industry should also be effectively mitigated by Health Canada's insistence on 10 parts per million THC. An as yet unreleased and non-peer reviewed Health Canada study points to supposed potential health risks of THC. Leaving aside the debate of the real or imagined heath risks of THC, it seems clear that at 10 parts per million, any potential risk has already been practically eliminated.
So, despite the criticism that has been levelled at Health Canada in the past for over-regulating the Canadian hemp industry, it should be recognised that these same regulations have not only enabled Canadians to grow hemp, but in this latest episode have actually protected the interests of the Canadian Hemp Industry.
David Marcus is an industrial hemp consultant now working with the Hemp Alliance of South Western Ontario. He can be reached at email@example.com
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Traditional Uses of Culinary Hempseed
Notes from a work in progress
By Dr. Alexander Sumach, Hemp Futures Study Group, with material from Chris Bennet
Editor's note: Hemp-based foods may be a new entry into the national marketplace, but based on our present understanding of hemp's highly nutritious and EFA rich content, its presence in our diets is long overdue. In light of recent events, and ongoing regulatory discussions about the place and safety of hemp in our diets, it may be time for a short history lesson.
The following material is excerpted from an upcoming book project by Dr. Alexander Sumach that has also been supplied to Health Canada regarding hemp's place as a "Novel Food". This material has been supplemented with excerpts from author Chris Bennet's article "Hempseed, the Royal Grain", which can be read in its entirety at: http://www.island.net/~mama/HempInfo/Hemp-Hist-by-CB.htm.
Modern reporting of hempseed being used as a traditional food can be found in vintage and contemporary overviews of industrial hemp prepared for review by government agencies charged with amending legislation to accommodate industrial hemp. Additional material appears from original research prepared for my book "New World Hemp History" to be published in Canada next year.
1) " Hempseed used in all the oriental nations and in part in Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people everyday are using hempseed in the Orient as food. They have been doing this for many generations, especially in periods of famine."
Quote from Ralph Loziers, general council for the National Institute of Oilseed Producers, concerning the historic culinary uses of hempseed, testimony presented before the US Congress Committee in 1937 reviewing cannabis legislation prior to enacting the Marihuana Tax Act.
2) " Prior to the end of WW2, hemp made a significant contribution to the economic and social fabric of society...(lists agricultural benefits of hemp)"
"... as well as food and oil from the seeds. "
"... it can be ground up and used in soups, cereals and other foods."
Quote from "Weekly Bulletin", publication of Canadian Department of Agriculture and Food, Vol. 7- # 22, December 1994.
3) "Four short years after the Marihuana Tax Act passed in the US, a researcher writing for a 1941 edition of Science lamented the loss of access to the hempseed's rare and important globule edestins; "Passage of the Marijuana Law of 1937 has placed restrictions upon trade in hempseed that, in effect, amount to prohibition.... It seems clear that the long and important career of the protein is coming to a close in the United States."
4) China, in ancient times referring to itself as " The land of hemp and mulberry" has perfected hemp culture for textiles and human food over the course of many centuries.
The consumption of raw or roasted hempseed is as common as eating sunflower seeds or peanuts in many parts of China to the present day. Edible hempseed continues to be available at food markets, as it remains a popular traditional food that has been enjoyed by millions of the Chinese people for many centuries. No instances of harm attributed to the eating of hempseed in any quantity has been reported. Fresh roasted hempseed remains a popular confection in contemporary China, and hempseed continues to be enjoyed as a snack suitable for families attending cinemas and public events
5) Edible hempseed was not initially popular with Europeans who regarded it as coarse fare, famine food to fall back during bad times. Hempseed nutrition was better invested in feeding animals in better times and humans returned to more interesting entrees than survival cake. The humble hempseed ÷ nutritious but gritty ÷ presents a prehistoric cross-cultural image of fortitude over want.
Before the introduction of the potato and maize from the New World, hempseed - by necessity rather than choice - was a frequent staple food of the vegetarian rural poor in areas of the world where hempseed was abundant because of escalated hemp cultivation for marine fibre in the 15th.century.
Hempseed was the sole source of edible vegetable oil in the northerly and mountainous areas of Eurasia where hemp crops could be grown but where imported luxury vegetable oils such as olive were unavailable or prohibitively expensive. This was especially so before WW2.
6) Locally grown and pressed hempseed oil was used for household cooking oil in the outbacks of Nepal ÷ observed in the 1970's by a National Geographic expedition documenting traditional Nepalese village life. Locally harvested hempseed was the only local source of vegetable oil for these ancient people living in modern times.
7) In the former USSR, North Eastern Europe, and the Baltic nations, traditional hemp growing zones that supplied fibre hemp for western European shipping expansion in the 15th C., turned to locally abundant hempseed for vegetable oil and made good use of the whole hempseed ground fine in the home kitchen. Seed was often fashioned into a smooth paste, similar to peanut butter to be spread on bread or toast and eaten. This hempseed butter was a particular favourite of children. In the Baltic nation of Latvia, hempseed is traditionally included in festival foods eaten during St. John's Day, June 21. A soup made from hempseeds called semientiatka is eaten ritually on Christmas Eve in Poland and Lithuania, and in Latvia and Ukraine, possibly in remembrance of the Persian King's Grain, a similar meal is eaten in the celebration of Three King's Day.
Commercially manufactured hemp butter is currently available in jars sold in eastern European specialty food stores, but it is not available in Canada.
8) Eastern European immigrants growing such old country herbs as Cannabis in backyard gardens in Canada came to the attention of Metro Toronto police officers in the 1970s. The culinary intention of the cultivators, producing a few handfuls of tasty hempseed for the winter soup kettle was accepted as an explanation.
9) There is anecdotal evidence that the Doukabours, a Christian vegetarian freedom sect living in western Canada since the turn of the century had prepared hempseed paste for food as part of their Spartan lifestyle in Russia. These Sons of Freedom apparently resumed growing and using hemp upon arrival in Canada and consumed a small portion of the hempseed harvest on a regular basis prior to and somewhat after prohibition measures in the 30's.
10) In 1955 the Czechoslovakian Tubercular Nutrition Study concluded that hempseed was the "only food that can successfully treat the consumptive disease tuberculosis, in which the nutritive processes are impaired and the body wastes away. "(Rowan Robinson, The Great Book of Hemp, 1996).
End Notes: These notes of traditional use of hempseed as a human food in the Old World imply that the whole seed, hard seed jacket and all was eaten as food. Hempseed is favourable, but when traditionally prepared produces an objectionably gritty edible paste, as the small hard shell cannot be easily removed. About 20% of the weight of hempseed is comprised of the hard seed coat.
It was not been practical to dehull hempseed during times of traditional use, and only gritty dark hempseed meal has ever been available on the world market. Recent advances in factory scale hempseed dehulling using mechanical separation produces a smooth white gritless hempseed meal that requires no further treatment before it can be eaten.
This important modern innovation that separates the seed jacket from the nutritious meal produces a more acceptable product than had ever been eaten in times passed.
Hemp is an industrial cultivar of Cannabis sativa L. The hemp plant is known by dozens of regional traditional monikers. Old World language groups tend to share a single common root word describing cannabis ÷ the cane. Each language, over many centuries modified the ancient root word only slightly to derive their own national word for "hemp". This suggests a pattern of long commonly shared knowledge of hemp by the European Community.
Traditional Regional Names for Cannabis in the Old World
Feral Hemp wanted.... Any reader with knowledge of wild hemp habitat is urged to contact Dr. Sumach for more information about collecting viable wild hempseed and forwarding it correctly. Please Contact: Dr. Sumach, Hemp Futures Study Group, PO Box 1680, Niagara on the Lake Ontario, Canada, LOS IJO, 905 468 3928, email@example.com
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Performance-Based Industrial Hemp Fibres Will Drive Industry Procurement in the 21st Century
By Peter A. Nelson, Agro-Tech Communications
(First of Two Parts)
Industrial hemp production in the 21st century will appear much differently than it does today. Custom and advanced applications for industrial hemp fibres will create innovative opportunities that will utilise more fibres, which in turn will foster new technologies. Two of the most exciting corporate developments in fibre utilisation point the way to the purchasing policies of the future. These developments are paper made by Crane & Co., Inc. of Dalton, Massachusetts and carpet manufactured by Interface Carpet of Kennesaw, Georgia. In addition, several technologies will be influential in developing quality fibres. These include genetic improvements, such as manipulating various aspects of fibre characteristics and advanced production technologies, such as precision planting, diversified management and precision farming. After separation, innovative processes developed by researchers, will also lead to greater improvement of desired fibre characteristics. Coupled together, these developments will create a myriad of performance-based materials from industrial hemp fibre in the coming century.
Crane and Interface: Leaders in Industrial Hemp Fibre Utilisation
Crane & Company, Inc. is the oldest paper mill in the United States, specialising in the production of stationery, currency and other fine papers made from cotton and flax fibre. Crane is the sole supplier of U.S. currency paper, as well as currency papers for several additional countries. In late 1996 and early 1997, the concept of industrial hemp papers manufactured at Crane was born. The industrial hemp papers, as well as other alternative fibre papers are marketed under the trade name, Continuum. According to the Co-ordinator of Continuum, Sam Smith, their 50% industrial hemp and 50% cotton paper has been the most evolved paper of the line. "From sourcing the raw fibre to finding the right formula to producing a quality sheet of paper, industrial hemp has demanded a great amount of resources and time," says Smith. "At present, the raw fibre comes from England, but other sourcing is always being researched."
According to Smith, industrial hemp fibre has an exciting future and Crane will continue to invest resources and knowledge to have the fibre's full potential realised. "As the political winds change, and production develops closer to home, enthusiasm for the resource will only increase. Crane & Co. has embraced the resource, and is committed to exploring the many opportunities that will arise from industrial hemp's development," he says.
Another exciting development is by one of the world's leading carpet companies ÷Interface. Interface is North America's largest commercial carpet tile manufacturer and is a one billion-dollar a year business. Ray Anderson, the company's CEO, is internationally renowned for his commitment to finding ecologically and economically sustainable materials, processes and products. Interface has been researching industrial hemp fibre for several years and is currently making plans to introduce a line of carpets made from the material combined with other natural fibres. Interface is currently importing industrial hemp fibre from Canada. At 1999's North American Industrial Hemp Council conference (held in Chicago on Nov.4-7th), Dr. Raymond Berard, the Senior VP of Technology at Interface, presented an environmental corporate strategy that included the utilisation of industrial hemp. Dr. Berard is also a board member of the North American industrial Hemp Council.
These two companies are paving the way for other corporations by creating a demand for the fibres and therefore increasing production and r&d. Additional corporations showing interest in industrial hemp fibres are: Boeing, Daimler Chrysler, Ford Motor Co. and International Paper. The continued research and development by these companies will be the driving force to get industrial hemp into the commodity stream and offer farmers a realistic and dependable price. Farmers and farm co-operatives should be encouraged to create industry contacts with prospective users and to work backwards from these specifications in creating vertically integrated farm systems.
The utilisation of industrial hemp fibre by Crane & Co., Inc. and Interface Carpet point to a growing trend by manufacturers to use materials that are high performance and have the ability to be custom produced and processed. Several North American companies have created superior technologies and systems to produce high-quality industrial hemp fibres. Two of the most innovative companies in high value processing are Hempline Inc. of Ontario, Canada and Flaxcraft Inc. of Tenafly, New Jersey. Hempline Inc. is the first company in North America to produce industrial hemp, conducting field and processing research since 1994. In 1999, Hempline worked with 30 farmers to produce 1,000 acres of the crop in Southern Ontario. Flaxcraft Inc. has an extensive background with the creation of industrial hemp and flax blended textiles and high performance fibre-based materials.
Manipulation of Industrial Hemp Fibre: Genetics, Production, Process
Improvements in fibre quality will be manifest through several different technologies including categories that can be defined as genetic, production and process. Genetic improvements to the crop can manipulate and improve various aspects of fibre quality including fibre length, length uniformity, fibre strength, micronaire and colour. Other desired characteristics for industrial hemp could include varieties with 0% THC, varying absorbency rates and different leaf structures for specifically desired growth traits. Fibre improvements through genetic engineering will be researched and marketed by Monsanto, Zeneca, Stoneville or other companies with primary interests in cotton and other fibre crops.
Production Technology ÷ Precision Planting, Diversified Management, Precision Farming
Production technologies can also increase fibre quality, manipulation of fibre characteristics and enhancement of harvesting efficiency. These include precision planting, diversified management systems, and precision farming advancements. Precision planting allows for a correct application of seed through accurate depth and distribution placement. The best precision planting equipment is manufactured by Monosem, which manufactures nothing but planters, including all sizes. "The great thing about a Monosem drill is the variable rate seed drive. This system gives the farmer the capability of adjusting the equipment on the go," explains Robert Wilson of Monosem. "Our planters can also be linked to a GPS system, so the farmer can dial in a particular plant population and the rate and depth will be monitored automatically," said Wilson. Precision planting effects fibre quality, bast: core ratio, water retention, harvesting ability and other factors. A hard look at precision planting is a necessity for well managed industrial hemp fibre production.
Diversified management systems refer to the use of cover crops, on farm fertiliser sources, alternative crops and other techniques to increase soil fertility and manipulate soil quality to effect fibre characteristics and yields. These systems have been applied by organic cotton producer, Steven McKaskle, with good success. His 1,000-acre farm in Braggadocio, Missouri has worked out an economically viable system of producing cotton and soybeans without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilisers. McKaskle's system utilises an on farm compost program, active rotation, cover crops and beneficials.
A crop rotation that includes industrial hemp in an organic system is currently working in Canada. The natural weed suppression abilities of the crop, coupled with its resistance and general tolerability of various pests make it an ideal rotation crop. Research initiatives in Yugoslavia and elsewhere have confirmed industrial hemp's role in suppressing perennial weeds such as Johnsongrass and thistles. Farmers in Ontario also report that industrial hemp has the ability to dramatically reduce nematode populations in soybeans when worked into a rotation system.
Precision farming is another technology advancement that shows promise for creating quality and controlled fibres from industrial hemp. Precision farming encompasses the use of GPS and GIS to monitor specific crop conditions, soil quality and other application factors by the square-foot. This technology allows for the precise application of fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and potentially defoliants. In the future, the use of GPS and GIS will also aid in retting, crop management decisions, and harvesting, by helping to monitor these and other factors that will eventually effect fibre characteristics.
End of Part I
Peter Nelson is the president and founder of Agro-Tech Communications, a technology and network-based business located in Memphis, Tennessee. The company specialises in the dissemination of information concerning the industrial utilisation of agricultural fibres, new production techniques, alternative crops and marketing strategies to enhance the sales potential of agri-business and industrial clients.
From seed to finished product to marketing, Agro-Tech Communications can build a team to help your venture succeed. Agro-Tech Communications is also the developer and operator of the Ag Fibre Technology program at Agricenter International. Ag Fibre Technology products and services include an annual conference, biweekly Internet newsletter and CD-ROM. For more information, contact:
7344 Raleigh Lagrange Rd., Cordova, TN 38018, USA
Ph: 901-757-7777, Fax: 901-937-7884, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.agrotechfiber.com
Farming the Ag Internet
In a future which many predict fast changing crop prices and less government support, information becomes its own commodity. Web sites like e.harvest.com, (short for electronic harvest) are there to meet the needs of the wired farmer. With a well-developed web site, frequently updated with weekly bulletins, and a supporting, print annual directory featuring the top 1000 Ag Sites on the Net, eharvest.com is an efficient and easy-to-use portal into the world of online agriculture. Lots of links to producer groups, food associations, farming related organisations, research institutes and related governmental sites. Eharvest.com also has an edited search engine for over 5275 (and counting) agriculture links, so that only the top ag sites are featured. Check out eharvest at: http://www.eharvest.com. To receive your free copy of the eharvest directory, send your (paper) mailing address to email@example.com.
Any company working in the food marketplace must win and keep the trust of their customers. Whatever your stand on Genetically Modified Foods, consumer fears and concerns must be recognised.
The "Consumer Right to Know Campaign for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods", co-ordinated by Dr. Richard Wolfson, documents the growing international consumer distrust of the food system. The "Consumer Right to Know" campaign's web site, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html contains information on genetic engineering as well as previous genetic engineering news items. Subscriptions to the GE news are available for a modest fee. Check out the web site for details, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Farm Crisis for Non Farmers
The Western Producer has a new standing editorial feature on their web site "explaining why Prairie farmers are having their toughest time since the 1930's."
"·We thought it would be in the public interest to reach beyond our normal readership and help educate Canadians from coast to coast the realities of prairie farming in the late 1990s, " writes webmaster, Bill Doskoch, who spearheaded the project. "Agriculture operates in a complex environment these days, and it's tough to put everything in context in one item on the evening newscast or one story in a daily newspaper."
The Farm Crisis for Non-Farmers provides an overview piece, as well as more detailed stories on various facets of the crisis including: commodity trading, the role of international subsidies, rising freight rates, the cost-price squeeze on farmers, federal farm aid over the years, the new Agricultural Income Disaster Assistance program, the human costs of the crisis, and lots more.
Read this. This is a timely package featuring good writing and clear analysis that takes full advantage of the web platform. Go to: http://www.producer.com for the whole story.
Les Echos du Chanvre
Since November 1995, Les Echos du Chanvre informs its readers of hemp's many benefits and uses. Each issue features history and traditions, profiles on companies working in sectors such as textiles, building materials, food, cosmetics, information on therapeutic uses of cannabis, excerpts and translation of relevant papers, and addresses worldwide. "Les Echos" is published quarterly by the non-profit organisation La Maison du Chanvre, which aims to promote hemp in all its forms. The journal is distributed throughout major French speaking markets, including France, Switzerland, Belgium and Quebec. Covers of recent issues have featured the works of award-winning photographer Lincoln Clarkes, best known in this industry for his work with the departed Commercial Hemp.
For more information check out http://www.chanvre.org or email Pascal Lagouge, editor, at Echosduchanvre@aol.com .
The HCFR Recipe: Carrot & Hemp Muffins
2 cups shredded carrots, 3 cups flour (whole wheat), 1 cup unbleached white flour, 1/2 cup hempseed flour, 3 eggs (substitute flax seed if vegan), 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 cup of cane sugar or brown sugar, 1 tsp. of nutmeg, 1 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder.
Bake @350¡ for approx. 1 hour of less depending on the oven. Check by inserting knife in muffin ÷ if knife comes out clean then its ready. If not, keep baking!
You will find these muffins great for fibre.
This issue's recipe courtesy of Melvin Laidlaw, Mr. Spinners email@example.com
More Hemp History:
a) Global Hemp.com has posted the following updates to the Global Hemp Archives
1. Fulfilling Uncle Sam's Fiber Needs: Illinois' Hemp Crop During the Second World War, 1942-1945 http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/Essays/Fiber/uncle_sams_fiber.shtml
2. USDA Yearbook, 1909, http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/Government_Research/USDA/usda_1909.shtml
3. USDA Yearbook, 1917 http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/Government_Research/USDA/usda_1917.shtml
4. USDA Yearbook, 1931 http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/Government_Research/USDA/usda_1931.shtml
5. Polo, IL Hemp Mill http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/History/polo_il_hemp_mill.shtml
6. Flax and Hemp: From the Seed to the Loom http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/Magazines/flax_and_hemp.shtml
7. Hemp An Illinois War Crop, Circular No. 547 http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/University_Research/hemp_an_il_war_crop.s
8. Hemp A War Crop for Iowa http://www.globalhemp.com/Archives/University_Research/hemp_a_war_crop_for_iowa.shtml
b) The Boston Hemp Co-op's Digital Library and Museum is also now online. Contents include articles dating back to 1810, numerous USDA articles documenting the history of hemp, a 1739 print of Cannabis, America's Hemp for Victory and Reefer Madness campaigns AND a 1859 poem written by Longfellow. Many more articles and images will be added to the site in the future. Check out the web site at http://www.hempology.org or email John E. Dvorak at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
British Columbia Industrial Hemp Growers Association AGM
About 50 people attended the first Annual General Meeting of the BCIHGA (BC Industrial Hemp Growers Assn.), The event, held at the Rainbow Country Inn, Chilliwack, BC, on October 30th, saw the acclamation of a six person executive.
For 1999-2000, the BCIHGA executive is Eric Hughes (CHII/Zima foods) president, Brian Johnson (Transglobal Hemp Products) Vice President, Catherine Kendall (hemp grower) Treasurer, Chris Burges (Nature's Design) secretary, Koli Hill Davy (hemp grower), Robert Bucher (hemp grower), and Rick Plotnikoff (North American Hemp Corp). Four others who were nominated declined the nomination.
Despite the high interest expressed historically for all the possibilities for industrial hemp in BC, and the large number of cottage industries and small businesses working with hemp, attendance was somewhat disappointing. Notable no shows included Lee Wells, of Grand Forks, BC, the outgoing president. Foul fall weather limited attendance; lack of awareness or short notice about the meeting was cited by some no-shows as another factor.
However, the meeting did draw representation from across the province, and one group did not dominate the session at the expense of others.
Bracketing the elections and the passing of by-laws were presentations by Hughes, Johnson, Davy and Burges, as well as new crops agronomist Al Oliver, on hand from the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
At the meeting, it was recognised that BC, which saw only a few hundred acres of hemp being planted this year, is very behind other provinces in the West. Topics of discussion included export concerns, the lack of farming equipment in some areas, the feasibility of pulp and paper production, marketing and market awareness, and harvesting.
Interesting findings were presented about hemp's adaptation to a rainy coastal climate; unwanted hemp fibre, ploughed into the soil will degrade quickly. Much was made of Vern Mitchell's 1998 crop, ploughed under after some well-publicised crop thefts. For 1999, the seeds of disappointment grew surprising rewards: the same field produced huge and healthy cabbages; salination of the soil was also relieved. Reportedly, Mitchell, who was not present at the meeting, is interesting in growing hemp again in 2000 just for its soil boosting properties.
Koli Hill Davy's experience was also instructive. A second year hemp farmer, the Delta diary farmer found the crop easy to grow, but harvesting was "the biggest struggle we have ever had, " she says. A lack of a combine forced them to hire farm labour, and the crop was hand harvested, with less than optimal results.
Marketing the crop was even more difficult as there is a lack of a sterilisation facility in the province, and prices have been poor. Though she had been offered $1.25 a lb. during the heady summer of 1998, a recent offer she received priced the hemp grain at 0.45 a lb.
1999's crop also grew well. However, the 1998 crop remains bagged in storage and Davy remarked that her 1999 swath of Fasamo would likely remain unharvested. As for 2000? Her attitude: wait and see.
According to President Hughes, the BCIHGA is aiming to hold quarterly, regional meetings and annual or bi-annual trade shows. Priorities include securing funding, marketing to the greater public, working to create standards and selecting from a range of possible end uses for further development.
For more information about the BCIHGA, contact Eric Hughes, President at (250) 920-7333 or email@example.com
OHA Kick-started with Public Funding
The Ontario Hemp Alliance (OHA) has announced David Marcus of Natural Hemphasis as acting project co-ordinator. Funded through Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) the position is believed to be the first wage paying publicly funded job meant to help grow the hemp industry in Canada.
The Alliance began back on September 29, 1998, when Gord Fairfield of Snowball Creek Wool Mill in St. George, ran Canadian grown fibre through the mill. The results were so exciting that a first meeting was called by Doug Albin, of the Brant Agri Business Association, again at the Mill. Included in the meeting were Provincial Government Representatives, farmers, equipment developers as well as people from manufacturing and marketing. The interest generated in this meeting prompted another to be booked for November 1998, and so it continued gaining steam, supporters and some direction. All the folks who had attended meetings felt a need for a regionally based alliance, one that could help all the players in this burgeoning industry measure the risks, plot the course and find the crew.
With much work on the part of area Community Futures staff, particularly out of Enterprise Brant, a twenty six week position was approved by HRDC which will be hosted out of the Brantford Office to help the Alliance do just this. Chris Farrell of Enterprise Brant believes "HRDC is interested in long term benefits from increased employment opportunities or they would not have approved the grant."
First on the agenda will be some goal setting with the Alliance's volunteer board. Great things are expected. "It feels good to have all that hard work by so many people be recognised and formalised. I really think this group will make the difference," says David Vince of Two Rivers Community Development Centre in Oshweken "Just shows you, what can happen when you keep trying".
Please contact David Marcus (416) 535-3497 for OHA memberships and further information, or online at http://www.hemphasis.com/hcfr
Guelph, Ontario January 27-30, 2000. 19th Annual Organic Conference and Eco-Products Trade Show
Canada's largest organic agriculture conference and trade show meets again. This year's show is titled "Growing the Organic Market."
Contact: Tomas Nimmo, Conference Co-ordinator, Box 116, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, L9Y 3Z4, Voice: (705) 444-0923 Fax: (705) 444-0380, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Montreal: January 31st-February 4th: Paperweek 2000
Palais des Congrès de Montreal. Annual meeting convention with exhibition co-hosted by the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association (CPPA) and the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTEC). Thousands of attendees from some forty countries will gather to discuss business conditions and learn about new technologies. The event will include CPPA Open Forums, the PAPTAC technical sessions with over 200 presentations, and the EXFOR products exposition.
Contacts: PAPTAC Annual Meeting Technical Program, Contact: Glen Black, Voice: 514-392-6967, Fax: 514-392-0369, email: email@example.com
PAPTAC Annual Meeting Registration, Contact: Pascale Frappier, Voice: 514-392-6954, Fax: 514-392-0369, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EXFOR registration, Contact: Michèle Vézina, Voice: 514-392-6965, Fax: 514-392-0369, email: email@example.com
Winnipeg, Manitoba, February 29th and March 1st: HEMP 2000 Speaker Series & Trade Show The Manitoba Industrial Hemp Association will be hosting Hemp 2000 at the Ramada Marlborough Hotel, February 29th and March 1st in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Hemp 2000 Speaker Series and Trade Show will deliver factual information about producing, harvesting, processing & marketing industrial hemp in order to strengthen industry potential and growth. All private and public sectors with an interest in the hemp industry are encouraged to attend
Hemp 2000 will feature expert guest speakers, panel discussions, a networking luncheon, an exhibit area with hemp related products & services, and hemp food & beverages. The event will open on the February 29th with an evening reception featuring a live auction
The speaker series will feature an exceptional group of hemp experts who will present their knowledge and experience through a series of presentations and panel sessions to educate and inform participants about the changes and advancements in the hemp industry as we enter the new millennium (speakers & topics t.b.a.). The conference is a must see for those interested in: the state of the hemp industry in North America, Government regulations & updates, hemp business opportunities & market trends, hemp food marketing, quality & THC research, hemp fibre in the marketplace, advances in hemp production and hemp research & development.
HEMP 2000 is organised by the Manitoba Industrial Hemp Association and sponsored by Manitoba Agriculture & Food and Agriculture & Agrifood Canada. Event Co-ordination provided by Blue Sky Business Services.
The Manitoba Industrial Hemp Association is a non-marketing agency whose mandate is to promote the development and sustained growth of the Manitoba hemp industry. The MIHA acts as a united voice to facilitate and support hemp production, processing, research, public awareness and education. The MIHA mission is to promote the use of industrial hemp as a commercial crop.
Please Note: HEMP 2000 deals exclusively with industrial hemp and does not promote or support recreational cannabis. All sponsors & exhibitors must agree to only display literature and/or products promoting the use of industrial hemp and not recreational cannabis. The MIHA reserves the right to remove any materials deemed unsuitable from the show.
Early bird tickets must be purchased by February 4th, 2000.
To receive an application to exhibit at the show or for more information please contact: Heather Daymond at 204-983-2994, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For speakers & topics, call Bruce Brolley, Crop Diversification Section, Manitoba Agriculture & Food at 204-745-5667 for up to date information.
For interviews & media information contact: Shaun Crew at 204-275-7616
Or consult the web site at www.pembinavalley.com/miha
May 13th-14th, 2000 Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo
The third annual Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo is scheduled for May 13 and 14 at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, California. The event will be MC'd by Mari Kane, publisher of Hemp Pages ÷ The Hemp Industry Source Book.
Over 75 booths are available for vendors at the 2000 show, which includes a major expansion into tented and out of doors space.
The Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo provides a positive basis for public support of hemp reintroduction, with an open-to-the-public, trade-show based setting that is well organised and effectively promoted. Live music, a hemp fashion show, a hemp house, a hemp camp display, hemp foods and beverages, educational and historical exhibits, workshops, videos, speakers and panel discussions are featured.
For more information call the Hemp Expo's publicity voicemail at 831-425-3003, or visit on the web at http://www.cruzexpo.com. Vendor inquiries call 831-457-2670.
HAVING AN INDUSTRIAL HEMP EVENT?
Contact Arthur Hanks, HCFR Editor, at email@example.com with details.
Looking for bulk hempseed products?? Hemp Oil Canada Inc. - firstname.lastname@example.org -
Construction Technologies has developed an environmental building system. The pre-start up company is developing technology to produce structural, insulating building materials for housing, offices and commercial projects. Hemp and other fibres are part of the high volume process. For further information please visit: http://members.home.net/lyford
or contact Geoffrey Lyford, Project Co-ordinator at email@example.com
Feed the world with a click of the mouse. Visit the Hunger Site at http://www.thehungersite.com
Hemp Watch International is on the air in California. Email Dave Patak at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out http://www.kmud.org for more info.
Realm magazine, creating work you want! Each print and online issue is full of tools for the next generation of entrepreneurs. http://www.realm.net/
REACH A WIDE QUALIFIED AUDIENCE THROUGH ADVERTISING IN THE HCFR. Sponsorship and Supporting positions also available. Marketplace special! Have your link here for as low as $20 per issue. For more information, please email: email@example.com
Get your web site up and going already·
Online but not on the web? Need to give your non-profit group an Internet presence? Too busy to get around to setting up · still? ? Terry Lefebvre of Hemptrade is offering FREE web page hosting for industrial hemp-related sites, as well as layout, set up and administration for all sites at fairly reasonable rates. Contact Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
SUPPORTING ADVERTISERS IN THIS ISSUE:
Hemptown Clothing Inc., email@example.com
Fibrex Québec Inc, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hemp Club/Chanvre en Ville, email@example.com
Living Tree Paper firstname.lastname@example.org
Hemp Industries Association, email@example.com
BioHemp Ltd., firstname.lastname@example.org
HempWorld Inc., matthew@HempWorld,com
Agro-Tech Communications, email@example.com
Greenman Nonwood Papermill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell them you saw it in the HCFR!
READER'S FEEDBACK: Keep us honest and write us. Let us know what you think about our formats, articles, coverage, tone, delivery, coverage and everything we are doing. We appreciate all letters and emails, though we can't reply to them all. Make the HCFR the reader's choice!
The HCFR is available for free to interested parties only on the Internet. Direct subscription for this issue is 1,300+. We encourage associations working in the industry to circulate the HCFR to their members (*.txt versions are available to all interested parties, please contact us, if this is what you want). Other non-profit use is encouraged.
THE HCFR ON THE WWW:
Back issues of the HCFR are posted on the following industrial hemp web sites: Natural Hemphasis, Hemptrade, Hemppages, Global Hemp and Hemp Cyberfarm. Check us out at:
Thanks to David Marcus, Terry Lefebvre, Mari Kane, Eric Pollit and Matthew Huijgen for their continuing good work on making needed information available.
NEXT ISSUE: Our year-end special! Y2K ready! The Hemp Commerce & Farming Report! Release date: December 31st, 1999 (or sooner, just to be safe).
© 1999 AHEM, ARTHUR HANKS. INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES REMAIN PROPERTY OF THE AUTHOR (S). NOT TO BE DUPLICATED FOR FINANCIAL OR PERSONAL GAIN. CONTACT US ABOUT REPRODUCTION RIGHTS.