The Hemp Commerce & Farming Report
Volume 2, Issue 11, May 2000 ISSN 1488-3988

Welcome Back!



Part One:
To the Editor:
Ditchweed requires special licensing
True numbers surrounding fibre supply

Top of the Crop:
1) Future Looks Bright for Manitoba Growers
2) US Border Clears Up Again · for the time being
3) Hemp Has a Hard Time...staying on the food shelves
4) Health Canada Splits Three Ways
5) Hemp to Keep Status as "Novel" Food

Gear and Clothing and Lost Wages

Part Two:
Hemp's Enemy Weeds
Hemp as Silage: Alberta Research Results
Peace River, Alberta: Rycroft Hemp Trials
Hemp Farmer Makeover
1999 Comparison of Industrial Hemp Grain composition for oil, protein, fibre, essential amino acids and fatty acids from across Northern Ontario

Part Three:
HCFR Special: Oglala Sioux Plant Industrial Hemp
Seeds for Sovereignty

Part Four:
Small Ontario company has Big Plans for Hemp-based Frozen Desert
Hemp Shorts

a) Domtar releases hemp/sugarcane Weeds paper
b) Canolio Cosmetics preaches beauty through health
c) REVIEW: Nelson's Hemp Husbandry is one of the best
d) Now available: OTA's Organic Fiber Directory
e) COMING SOON - Canadian Hemp: Bibliography and Resource Guide
f) Web Worthies...you've got mail!
g) HCFR Recipe of the Month: Beer for the home brewer

Show Reports
NCCT Conference Report
Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo Report

Saskatchewan Hemp Association Update
Upcoming Events
Masthead, Credits, and more info

Announcement, Annonce, Ansage, Aviso

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Welcome back to the HCFR!

Well, it's been almost two months since our last edition, so we have a lot of material ready for you this time.

This issue is posted in four parts:

Part I includes some of the most pertinent news that has come down the pike in the last few months, including an update on Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers, our latest border report, and key news from Health Canada. Also, don't miss Dr. Sumach's gem of a story on a hempen B&E this spring.

Part II is focussed on agriculture, and leads off with a great article by Sasha Przytyk on hemp's enemy weeds. The section also has reports on some top-flight research from Alberta and Northern Ontario. As well, we have prepared a piece on market development for the independent-minded producers out there.

Part III is a special feature devoted to the April planting of industrial hemp by the Oglala Sioux nation. As America continues its national soul searching, this event should be considered as important as last year's groundbreaking Hawaii crop. Note that this piece is a bit graphic heavy, so if you are reading this online and have a slower connection, be patient, take a good breath and maybe stand up and take a good stretch too. Thanks to Craig Putnam for his eyewitness account and keen shutterbug eye; I only regret that we couldn't include all of his photos with this report.

Don't miss Part IV either, as it opens with a great piece on Christina's Cool Hemp ÷ one of the best food secrets, I think, in the country. Much more follows so be sure to read all the way through to Marketplace, where some interesting offers and opportunities are posted.

About our team: With the HCFR's move to Regina, Saskatchewan, we have been reorganising and renewing. I'd like to announce that Jason Freeman is stepping down from the HCFR's Sales and Sponsorship role, effective June 1st. Many of you are aware that Jason has his own commercial interests in this industry (i.e. BioHemp Technologies), and as the HCFR grows, it serves the industry best for this trade publication to keep an arm's length. Jason will be keeping his ownership share of the HCFR until such time as he can recoup his investment, but will no longer be representing this publication.

Blair McDaid of Regina's B&M Agency will be stepping forward to fill his shoes. Blair brings us valuable experience in the government and commercial advertising sectors and is looking forward to the HCFR experience. He can be reached at 306-757-9236 or by email for now at hcfr@sasktel.net .

We'll have some more HCFR business news for you by our next issue.

As hemp enters its third commercial year of growth in this country, the HCFR is proud to keep contributing to this innovative and sustainable industry. Thanks to all of our writers and industry supporters who have played their parts in making this publication thrive. And thanks also to all the readers who have asked me when the next issue is coming out!

Have a good read; we'll see you again next month.


Arthur Hanks
May 2000
Regina, Saskatchewan


Notice of Correction
In regards to our CHFA Expo West coverage (HCFR #10), the HCFR mistakenly referred to HempNut Inc. as "The Hemp Corporation" (an older name). As well, "rella", as used in the same story, should properly have been written as Rella™. The HCFR apologises to HempNut Inc. for any confusion that this error may have created.

To the Editor:
Ditchweed requires special licensing

Greetings Arthur,
Thanks for another great issue of the HCFR. There are a couple of things I thought I should comment on.

The first is in relation to the following excerpt from your most recent issue: "Operation Ditchweed" (See Marketplace).

As I indicated at the Hemp 2000 conference, ditchweed requires special licensing. Anyone who is working with ditchweed must have a research licence; anyone who is selling or providing it must be covered under the research licence to do so, and anyone who possess it must also be covered under the research licence. This cannot be handled under the Industrial Hemp Regulations.

Anyone who possess it, sells it or provides it without a licence is contravening the regulations and are liable to prosecution.

Our mailing address: We moved recently and will be moving again in the near future. Therefore, the mailing address on the HC web site is incorrect. We are now at the following location: (SEE: Health Canada splits three ways in this issue)

Niels Hansen-Trip, Health Canada

True numbers surrounding fibre supply

Thanks again for the publicity that your HCFR continues to provide both to ARC and to the industry!

Just a couple of small issues that really need to be addressed to prevent misinformation. As this industry is so sensitive to numbers being thrown out there, it is important that we correct the numbers we know to be in error.

In Part 2 of HCFR/10 (Hemp 2000 Report), you quoted me as saying that "...pulps derived from softwood chips run at $80-115 tonne, and hardwood at $85-90 t,...". In fact, these are WOOD costs, not pulp costs, and as I stated in my presentation they are regionally-dependent.

Further in the same paragraph, you stated that the "Published estimates for the value of hemp fibre range from $20 t ...". This is correct, provided that you add the word "standing" after the phrase "unretted whole stalk". Baled values start at about $50 per tonne for unretted whole stalk.

The point that I was trying to raise with these figures is that hemp can be an economically viable raw material for papermaking. In regions where hemp is grown, it can be even less expensive than wood as a raw material, with a strong probability of improving paper quality as well.

I would greatly appreciate if you would publish a quick note in your upcoming issue to "re-inform" your readership of the true numbers surrounding fibre supply. These true values actually represent increased value and opportunity to farmers over the values that were published.

Wade Chute, Senior Research Engineer - Agrifibres
Alberta Research Council


Top Of The Crop

1) Future Looks Bright for Manitoba Growers
Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers Reorganise as a New Generation Co-op
By Giselle Lussier

Rich golden spears of industrial hemp growing on 250 acres of David Van DeVelde's farmland a few miles east of Mariapolis held the appearance of a great crop signifying a renewed hope for the future of a producer wanting to diversify.

The 250 acres that were planted in 1999, yielding 920 lbs. an acre, at a cost of $80/acre for seed, may not have been a bumper crop, but it was slightly above average. VanDeVelde had all of it contracted to Consolidated Growers Processors at a price of 0.54 cents a lb.

The future that once looked really bright received a mean curve when VanDeVelde heard news that the American-based CGP declared Chapter Seven bankruptcy over the winter of 2000. "I was sick. Even a couple of weeks ago when I would go to town and people would want to ask what was happening, I couldn't even talk about it," said VanDeVelde.

Now, however David is able to talk about industrial hemp without his stomach experiencing a nervous flutter. The reason for his renewed health has nothing to do with anti-acids, but has everything to do with 230 industrial hemp growers pulling together by becoming members of a New Generation Co-operative, Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers Ltd., based out of Dauphin, Manitoba.

Originally he had anticipated a few growing pains, aware that he was taking a bit of a gamble as last year ÷ hail insurance was not available for him then. He also knew, as it was common knowledge, that industrial hemp can be a challenge at harvest time. He first began harvesting on September 18th. It was a little too green, so harvesting was halted for a couple of weeks. He learned one trick: carefully check the equipment every few rounds. Other than the last 40 acres, there really were not any problems to speak of.

VanDeVelde says that his new found optimism arises from the fact that the growers are pulling together: "Could you imagine the mayhem if everyone were to panic and try unloading the product themselves? That would result in nothing but devastation to the market, which now more then ever I feel will become a viable one," says VanDeVelde.

Susan Schlingerman, Manager Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers commented that once they heard the news about CGP, the Board of Directors asked that all producers who had contracts with CGP join Parkland. "The response was great, well over 90% of the producers climbed aboard. Parkland originally had 75 members. We are presently 230 members strong," said Schlingerman. She added that a producer didn't have to be under contract with CGP to join the co-operative.

Schlingerman also paid tribute to CGP, commenting that although they did do some things wrong, most of what they did was done right: " Without CGP we would not have been privy to the expertise of growing this crop. CGP sent experts over to assist us by showing us what to look out for, they educated us on growing conditions and they had access to the seed. They didn't do everything wrong, without them we would not be as far along as we are. We are the recipients of what they did right."

Joe Federorwich, chair of Parkland, as well as a hemp producer who grew 750 acres last year, recently announced that Darryl McElroy, former marketer for CGP had been hired by Parkland to look for industrial hemp markets. "And the markets seem to be coming in with contract prices matching CGP's and some even better," said Federorwich who added that this would not be the case if the producers hadn't pulled together.

"As any new industry there are growing pains and we are experiencing ours now. I really think that by getting the kinks out now, industrial hemp will become a stronger commodity in the future," surmised Schlingerman.

All in all the people who are driving this industry are the growers, and Schlingerman forecasts a booming industry in the near future. "Certainly there are hurdles to overcome," she said.

"Whether or not we put hemp in the ground this growing season depends on how much we sell and what markets are in place," added Federovich. Both he and Schlingerman say that if they are able to sell 50% of the 5 million pounds the growers have in storage, new acreage would be planted in 2000 (As of mid-May, Parkland was "cautiously optimistic" and estimated that the co-op would plant between 5000-6000 acres this year.)

"We aren't trying to be Kingpins of industrial hemp· we see a viable market for the product and we see it as a great opportunity for producers who are wanting to diversify," said Schlingerman in closing.

Giselle Lussier is a freelance writer based out of Glenboro, Manitoba. Her article on Warren Ellis of Prairie Hemp, appeared in HCFR #1, May 1999.

2) US Border Clears Up Again - for the time being

An intervention by the office of US Attorney General Janet Reno has given the green light to Canadian hemp products being exported to the United States.

A recent letter from Reno's office stated " We lack legal authority to prohibit importation of hemp products unless the definition of marijuana in [the Controlled Substances Act] is changed to remove the hemp exclusion." Reno continued to say in her letter that in the case of hemp, "Congress made its decision clear not to restrict hemp imports and that the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels are too low to trigger psychoactive effect."

This intervention overrules the New Year's ONDCP directive against hemp foods and other products. While the directive was never enforced across the board, and many hemp food and hemp-derivative products passed through without incident, hemp shipments from at least three companies were stopped in February/March, 2000. BC's CHII and Ontario's Hempola and Kenex Ltd., all had shipments reportedly detained at the US border for testing of THC.

"Lab analysis conducted by US Customs were all tested negative," says Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's spokesperson Randy Nelson. "It seems to be moving along fairly well. We have been told that all detained shipments have been released."

DFAIT is currently waiting for an official release from US Customs on the status of Canadian hemp imports. Because of the powerful influence of the ONDCP, who is maintaining their anti-hemp agenda, it is unknown when this release will be passed on.

Much of the support for a ban on hemp products in the US government originates with the US military. According to US Air Force newsletter The Kadena Shogun (Feb. 12th, 1999 edition): "In the mid-'80s, the standard urinalysis testing became an effective weapon in the Air Force war against drugs. Now, the program that has produced a healthy force of drug-free professionals may be compromised by something actually being touted as a healthy dietary supplement. It's called hemp oil."

According to the Air Force judge advocate general's office in the Pentagon, the dispute about servicemen using hemp products is not based on the health claims of hemp oil, but that the ingestion of healthy hemp products "effectively interferes" with the Air Force's ability to maintain a drug-free force.

The Kadena Shogun article also asserts that "it is perfectly legal to import hemp products into the country."

Hemp lobbyist and Hawaii State Representative Cynthia Thielen (R-Kailua), warns that ONDCP Drug "Czar" Barry McCaffrey is currently circulating amendments to the CSA that would ban hemp products from the US. The three proposed amendments state: a) Strike all exemptions, completely eliminating the importation, trade and possession of hemp products; b) exempt only hemp fibre which is used to produce paper, cloth, and other legitimate commercial products; or c) provide for an exemption for products not used for human consumption.

For more up-to-date news and backgrounders on this issue, check out www.hempembargo.com

Have a hemp trade horror story? Write the HCFR and let us know. All leads welcome.

3) Hemp Has a Hard Time ... staying on the food shelves

Cribs and insights drawn from a recent article in Canadian Grocer, "For Hemp Lovers, Health is the Ultimate High" (March 1st)

For more on Canadian Grocer, check out www.canadiangrocer.com


HempCyberFarm™: HempCyberFarm.com is your source for hemp farming information. HempCyberFarm™ has been a hemp farming discussion platform since 1995. Sell your harvest here! Find hemp seed vendors here! Exchange hemp farming experiences. Our on-site library contains a large selection of articles related to hemp farming to further one's knowledge.
Web site: http://www.HempCyberFarm.com email: Matthew@HempCyberFarm.com

4) Health Canada Splits Three Ways

The branch of government charged with protecting the health of Canadians is disappearing. It will be replaced by three new organisations as of July 1st. Health Products and Foods will monitor the safety of things like food, drugs, natural health products, related biotechnology and medical devices; Environmental and Product Safety will oversee areas like product safety and tobacco control; Population and Public Health will concentrate on disease control.

HC says that the reorganisation will allow the ministry to focus more strongly on the broad areas under its responsibility and create better communication between scientists and managers. The reorganisation also allows for regional offices to take a more direct role in managing programs, leading to more collaboration with provincial and territorial governments.

As of press time, HC spokesperson Roslyn Tremblay indicated that no decision has yet been made on whether the "Hemp Bureau" would fall under the Health Products and Food or Environmental and Product Safety.


For regular mail:
Controlled Substances - Hemp/Regulations
18th Floor, Room 1815, 280 - Standard Life Centre
AL 3618 B
280 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1B9

by Courier:
Controlled Substances - Hemp/Regulations
18th Floor, Room 1815, 280 - Standard Life Centre
280 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

(Please note that it is very likely that the Hemp Office will have a new address by July 2000, once the Ministry has decided how to reorganise itself)

Sources: CBC (April 17th report), Health Canada

5) Hemp to Keep Status as "Novel" Food
Health Canada's Interim Position Released

Health Canada has released their interim position on hemp foods (See HCFR November issue). This will be in effect until the ministry has completed a review of the evidence of "history of safe use" of hemp in foods and a decision is made about the status of hemp foods as Novel Foods.

Eric Driscoll of the Novel Food Directorate notes that "Labelling is not required except for listing the hemp ingredient appropriately in the list of ingredients. Notification of hemp foods should be sent to the Food Directorate. We are trying to monitor what products there are in the marketplace and appreciate manufacturers, importers, and distributors notifying this office of the products they plan to sell/are selling. We would also like to add them to our mailing list so that if there is any news we can get it out to the industry."

Novel Food Regulations in Brief
Because hemp foods and hemp food ingredients do not appear to have a history of safe use, according to the definition of a novel food, Health Canada's interim position is that hemp foods and hemp food ingredients are Novel Foods and hence, subject to the Novel Food Regulations.

A committee of the Health Protection Branch, including evaluators from the programs of Food, Environmental Health, and Therapeutic Products, is currently evaluating the risk of consuming hemp in foods. The report is expected to come out sometime this year, followed by the development of a policy on this issue.

Manufacturers, importers, and distributors of hemp foods or hemp food ingredients are urged to contact the Directorate with their intention to work with hemp foods or hemp food ingredients in Canada, accompanied with information about the manufacture, ingredients, level of THC in hemp foods. The Directorate also welcomes any evidence of a history of safe use of hemp in foods, including published articles about hemp foods and their use (either historical or modern) from either a scientific or cultural perspective.

Information will help assist in drawing a conclusion about the novel food status of hemp foods. In evaluating hemp foods as novel foods, Health Canada has said that they will make a determination whether the traditional use of hemp foods was classified as "safe". Additionally, the differences between the pattern of historical cultural use will be compared to that of modern use by urban populations with a highly developed commercial food supply.

The crux of the safety concern about hemp foods and hemp food ingredients is the level of THC (the psychoactive chemical Trans-Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) in these products. According to the position paper, Health Canada suggests that THC can be bioaccumulated in body tissues and a "safe" limit for daily intake for THC has not been established in the current regulations. Effects of THC as a result of bioaccumulation remain unknown at this point.

Currently, if the level of THC present is less than 10 ppm (as outlined in the Industrial Hemp Regulations), the ingredient may be used in foods. Hemp food ingredients of seed or grain, such as oil and seed cake, are exempted from the Regulations if there is evidence that the food ingredients contain no more than 10 ppm of THC and carry appropriate labelling. However, the Food Directorate considers that THC to be a contaminant and would prefer that no THC were found in food sold in Canada; however, they note that "whether this can be achieved is unknown at this time".

Questions by food manufacturers and importers regarding the use of viable hemp or non viable hempseed in food products should be directed to the Therapeutic Products Programme "Hemp Line" at 613-954-6524 or Hemp_BdsTpd@hc-sc.gc.ca

For information or questions pertaining to hemp or hemp content foods, or the full interim position statement contact: Eric Driscoll, Nutrition Evaluation Division, Tel: 613-957-0352, Fax: 613-941-6636, Eric_Driscoll@hc-sc.gc.ca or www.hc-sc.gc.ca/food-aliment

When-bad-things-happen-to-good-people-dept. Far away from the farmgate, past the jurisdiction of the hemp regulations, at a time when carbohydrate is reborn as stylish textile; hemp enters the retail marketplace, swinging ... and someone else is there, heaving a mean sucker punch.

Gear and Clothing and Lost Wages
Thieves target Ottawa's Premier ECO Hemp Store
By Dr. Alexander Sumach

An after-hours robbery in late March at Ottawa's favourite Eco Store, Arbour Environmental Shoppe on Bank Street, suggests that stylish and durable hemp clothing represents a highly prized trophy haul for underworld operators. Thieves vanished into the night with dozens of new hemp jeans, shirts and T-shirts worth an estimated $10,000.

Hemp garments in all styles, sizes and colours were taken. Other more expensive items were completely passed over, implying that these hemp thieves knew exactly what they were looking for.

"Whoever robbed us ignored expensive solar electric panels, computers and cash to just grab hemp clothing," says owner Sean Twomey who has operated his landmark store for ten years without incident.

Arbour had just taken delivery of their big spring summer hemp stock from such notable Canadian manufacturers as Spirit Stream and Simply Hemp, only to have it disappear in one pop out the back door under cover of darkness.

Commercial insurance will cover part of this loss but Arbour has to reorder all over again to remain the Ottawa Valley's best and first choice for hemp clothing. The store is obliged to pay suppliers for the stolen stock. However, the Canadian hemp community showed their support for Arbours' plight; several businesses called Arbour to show solidarity and to offer compassionate arrangements to ensure that Ottawa will be able to shop for hemp this summer without a hitch.

Hemp is Arbours' most famous stock mix in their eco friendly store and in comparison, hemp based items are more frequently swiped than any other item ÷ this casual in store inventory suggests that hemp garments are becoming increasingly more popular as time passes.

Crime will not pay if crime does not stay, and Arbour staff is on diligent alert to prevent this happening again. Twomey reminds us that theft is a serious retail problem and suggests that hemp storeowners keep a hard eye on their valuable stock.

Arbour points to Toronto's Friendly Stranger store on Queen Street East, as a model hemp retail operation that combines good product presentation and no nonsense security measures to best advantage. Friendly Stranger proprietors Robin Ellis and Joy keep their entire hemp inventory firmly attached on wall displays, store extra stock behind the counter, keep small items in glass display cases and chain hemp information books up to the wall. If anyone wants to see some wonderful hemp creation, the staff assists them in every way ÷ except to obtain it for free.

Toronto is awakening to its new status a modern, world-class city with all the aberrations of urbanity, and swats the flies of annoying crime with typical Ontario certainty. Vancouver is still the country's first place hemp rip-off zone, as we recall the now defunct Hemp BC's eternal struggle with the street-level grassroots retail hemp liberation programme, aka "shoplifting Olympics." Ottawa, the beige frontier of stability and order is starting to see a few dings on the doorknob too. No Canadian city is immune from the perils of a fluid society that drifts from the moral contract from time to time.

By far, most hemp customers are decent and honest folk who just want value for their money. Hemp retailing is still a good business, but like any business where the public is at liberty to examine your goods - owners must stay alert to opportunity and watch for the few bad apples that roll into your shop.

If you are aware of any suspicious offers from mysterious distributors of hemp garments and believe pirate vendors may be selling Arbours' (or anyone's) stolen hemp stock, feel free to call the police (who are on our side now). Canadian Hemp was first rendered legal in the fair city of Ottawa; it is an insult that hemp is a target for thieves in the aftermath of such grace and liberty. Arbour is standing on guard and this won't happen again. Don't let it happen to you either ÷ pay attention or pay the price.

Arbour Environmental Shoppe, Sean Twomey at (613) 567-3168 arbour@arbour.on.ca


BioHemp Technologies Ltd.: Marketers of certified organic hempseed products. Products include high quality FIN-314 hempseed oil, toasted hempseeds, hempseed meat, and flour for the nutraceutical, food, and cosmetics markets.
Phone 306-546-2508, Fax: 419-730-9858, email: sales@biohemp.com


The Hemp Commerce & Farming Report
Volume 2, Issue 11, May 2000 ISSN 1488-3988
Part Two of Four Parts



Please visit our new web site at:
Gen-X Research Inc., 1237 Albert St., Regina, Sask. S4R 2R5
Tel: 306-525-6519, Fax: 569-5938

Hemp's Enemy Weeds
by Sasha Przytyk, Gen-X Research

In general, there are few weeds that can persist in the dense shade of a good hemp crop. When its requirements are met, and it gets off to a good start, hemp grows rapidly and has been known to choke out most common weeds. This is due to the species' fast vertical growth and impenetrable leaf canopy.

Hemp has often been recommended as a weed control crop; however, this is not necessarily the case. When a crop doesn't get a good start for one reason or another, competition from common weeds like thistles, quackgrass, wild oats, mustard and lamb's quarters can become a real issue. Poor drainage or lack of nutrients can slow the crop's growth and make it more vulnerable to invading weeds. To take advantage of hemp's competitiveness, care must be taken to sow at a high enough seeding rate, in fertile, well-drained soil, to achieve quick ground coverage. This is especially true with regards to shorter seed crops.

Good preparation of the seedbed is essential. Hemp is very responsive to an even, fine seedbed. Like most spring crops, it is negatively affected by compacted crusty soils, absence of rain, and/or lack of drainage. Mechanical weed control is necessary to eradicate early emerging weeds, especially in organic production. The land should be cultivated as early as possible, disked and harrowed. Thorough, deep plowing or cultivation gives the hemp the opportunity for the development of its root systems.

No herbicides are registered for use on hemp, although "Poast" and "Pardner" have been shown to work on grassy weeds without significantly damaging most varieties of hemp (Manitoba Agriculture 1999, University of Saskatchewan 1999). Although a pre-plant burn-off with "Roundup" may prove successful in controlling weeds in conventional farm programs, I will not personally advocate the use of unnecessary, harmful herbicides.

A hempseed crop should not follow a wheat crop, since volunteer (re-growth from unharvested seed) wheat can be a vector of sclerotinia (hemp canker), and small wheat grains are difficult to clean out from the hempseed. Neither should hemp be planted after a spice crop such as coriander. When these herbs re-grow amongst the hemp crop, their seeds are also difficult to separate from hempseeds, and impart their flavour to the hemp oil in the crushing process.

Wild buckwheat can be a major weed control problem, as the plant climbs up the stem and flowers at the same height as the hemp. Again, cleaning is challenging since wild buckwheat seeds are about the same size as small hempseeds.


"Broomrape": For more info, visit: http://ext.agn.uiuc.edu/abstract/289.html or http://ext.agn.uiuc.edu/wssa/subpages/weed/WT72.htm

Less common, but more serious than wild buckwheat, are several noxious weeds: Broomrape is among the worst agricultural pests in many parts of the world. It is sometimes found where wormwood grows throughout the southern Canadian prairies, and is reportedly parasitic on hemp's roots.


"Bindweed" (Strangleweed, Wild Morning Glory, Creeping Jenny)
Photo credit Wild Plants of the Canadian Prairies, A.C. Budd & K.C. Best, Canada Dept of Agriculture, 1964. For more info, visit: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/croplive/cropprot/weedguid/bindweed.htm

Also prohibited (in hempseed growing standards) are the bindweeds, members of the morning glory family, that climb up the hemp stems and produce white or pink funnel-like flowers; Field bindweed is sometimes confused with wild buckwheat. The two species are differentiated by leaf shape: wild buckwheat has a heart-shaped leaf while field bindweed has a spade-shaped leaf. Dodder, another climbing, parasitic weed found in the southeastern prairies is very difficult to identify, but an enemy nonetheless.


"Dodder" (Beggarweed, Hellweed, Strangle Tare, Scaldweed, Devil's Guts)
For more info, visit: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/croplive/cropprot/dodder.htm

In growing hemp for seed, all weeds of these types should be avoided as they can be extremely damaging and may result in crops being downgraded or refused. If found, they should be reported to a local Ag. Canada representative. Although damage caused by these noxious weeds has not observed in modern-day Canadian hemp crops, they were reported in earlier hemp growing days, and cannot be discounted in these times of renewed growth.

Sasha Przytyk is the manager of Gen-X Research Inc.

For another article that deals with the herbicide control of volunteer hemp plants, check out

Hemp as Silage: Alberta Research Results
An Alberta Agriculture Study that looks at hemp's potential as a cattle feed has been released. Low THC Hemp (Cannabis sativaL.) Research Report 99-10028-R11999 - Hemaruka, Alberta, reports on a 1999 trial undertaken in Central Alberta to grow hemp as silage, and to feed the silage to back-ground heifers. The hemp fed heifers were compared with heifers fed a conventional diet of barley/oat silage.

Note: At present Health Canada will not grant a permit to grow hemp for silage. This work was done under a research permit.

The research was conducted by farmer/co-operator Ron Letniak of Consort Alberta, Cereal and Oilseed Specialist Curtis Weeks, Dr. Stan Blade, Director of Edmonton's Crop Development Centre North, and Agnes Whiting, Technical Field Crop Representative, UFA.

This trial shows that hemp can be used as cattle feed when fed as silage; it notes that hemp silage is unusual in that it produces high yield per acre, high protein levels and relatively high yields (in general, plants grown for animal feed usually have high yield and high energy and relatively low protein. Hemp is one of the few plants that has all three, and does not require a supplement, as does the barley/oats mix.) The cattle found the hemp silage very palatable and readily accepted it as feed.

The study concluded that there was no significant difference between yield of the hemp and barley/oat silage and there was also no significant difference between the weight gain of the two groups of heifers over a 110-day feeding period. The study notes that the current high cost of hempseed, license costs and THC tests are offset by the savings hemp silage provides from the additional protein in the feed.

If the results can be repeated and verified in 2000, hemp could become a new source of forage for cattle producers, the study suggests.

Peace River, Alberta: Rycroft Hemp Trials
Twelve varieties were evaluated for their performance in Northern Alberta's Peace Region in 1999. A small silage trial with 4 varieties and a date of seeding trial with 5 seeding dates was also grown.

Overall seed yields were quite low; lack of moisture late in the season, with large cracks developing in the plots over late summer, may have limited seed yields.

USO 31 was the variety with the highest seed yield at 285 lbs./ac, followed by USO 14 (263 lbs./ac), Fedora 19 (260 lbs./ac) and FIN 314 (255 lbs./ac). Kompolti provided the highest biomass yield by far at 11695 lbs./ac. High biomass strains included Uniko B, Fedrina 74, Felina 34 and Futura.

The silage trial resulted in protein levels of 20.6% for Fedora 19, 19.4% for Futura, 20.9% for Uniko B and 21.0% for Zolo 13 when cut at 50 days after seeding. Hemp biomass yield was highest at the second cutting (75 days after seeding) for 3 of the 4 varieties. Biomass yield was slightly higher for the other variety at the third cutting (114 days).

Results of the date of seeding experiment revealed significant varietal differences between date of seeding and seed and biomass yields. There was a trend to higher yields with earlier seeding dates in all varieties.

All of the varieties involved in the trial tested 0.15 % THC or less, with several, including Fedora 19, Ferimon, the USO's and Zolo 11 testing under 0.05%.

Complete details can be found at http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/offices/fairvreg/agfarm/fff_spcrops.html

Source: Alberta Agriculture

Hemp Farmer Makeover
By Arthur Hanks & Dr. Alexander Sumach; thanks to David Marcus and Jerzy Przytyk

Canada's new crop or special crops industry has seen substantial growth over the past decade, expanding from just over 2 million acres to 5.3 million acres in 1999. Agriculture Canada forecasts a 10% increase in special crop acres this spring to 6.8 million acres, as farmer's switch from canola to crops with better returns. These crops include legumes such as dry peas, chickpeas and lentils; canary seeds, mustard seeds, buckwheat; spices and herbs. Many of these crops, importantly, are GMO-free.

Ag Canada also forecasts that crops such as spelt, kamut and quinoa have good market potential. Industrial hemp is another crop in Canada's agricultural mix that is rated as having good potential.

How long can you eat on potential? Over the past two years, the country's fledgling hemp industry has had to identify and create markets, deal with the financial uncertainty of a few companies who have set up shop, and handle a difficult border situation with Canada's largest trading partner.

In this context, a large number of farmers, by choice or by necessity, have had to seek their fortunes with hemp on the open market.

Below is an email, which the HCFR's editorial team received from a hemp farmer in mid-April. He grew hemp on speculation for the past two years and has been frustrated with the slow pace of market development. His situation is representative of many producers out there.

The HCFR contacted two consultants who are knowledgeable about the state of hemp markets - David Marcus of Toronto's Natural Hemphasis, and Jerzy Przytyk of Quebec's Hempco - for advice on how this anonymous farmer should proceed.

Hemp Farmer: Thanks for getting back to me about hemp and associated products.

When you asked for a price I must confess that I am not up to a product list but would like to sell some of the last two years worth of seed to purchase this years acreage. If I do not sell any of last year's seed then I will only plant the minimum acreage (10) if seed sells I have left open 35 and possible 75 acres.

The seed I have from last year is Felina 34. This has real good GLA's and the THC levels are real low (I think it was about 0.1% during the growing season). I have 8000 lbs.

My seed was not been forced dry with heat instead it was slow dried in ventilated wagons and took close to 2 months to reach a good storage level. It is packed in large shipping totes that range from 1400-1600 pounds and I can arrange to deliver with my own truck if the haul is not too far.

The seed I have from 2 years ago is Irene and in most cases it will test with some THC in the oil but Kenex did some sampling and said it was close but not a real problem. There is close to 9000 pounds.

The seed is clean and has no white or immature seed very few cracks.

When it comes to fibre I have close to 500 4x4 bales and they average 400 lbs. Some of the fibre is cut at the perfect stage for fibre; some is after the seed was removed. None of this fibre has the tops of the plant in it. Then some of that has been left out to ret for the winter ÷ this removes the pectin and makes it very soft but it will cut down the fibre strength if allowed to touch the ground or get bleached by the sun for too long.

I would like the seed to bring me $1.00 a pound or I could set a better price for the whole lot?

Thanks for listening to me and I hope we can make a difference.

David Marcus: Obviously growing on spec is not the way to go at this point. Unless as a farmer you are contracted (by a 'reputable' firm), chances are you shouldn't be growing. If you really want to be involved in developing the industry, then your focus should be on product development and taking the product to market. This value-added approach will result in smaller acreages being more profitable. In this way, farmers can tackle local market first and if the demand exists, grow from there.

So, yes, I think your farmer has the right idea. As far as product development for others, there's probably no need at this point to grow in the first place as there is ample supply on the market at a price that will be very competitive for what you could grow it for yourself (certainly in your first year of growing). Moreover the seed can already be bought in a processed form (i.e. dehulled) which eliminates the requirements to get THC testing, licenses and the rest (cost and time prohibitive). Most importantly, however, you don't have to forecast your demand, you can buy what you need when you need it.

If you are a contracted farmer, the key now is management practices to get yields up, and thus revenues. The contracting price of seed is already showing signs of sliding (necessary from an industry perspective to make hemp grain and derivative products more affordable), so higher yields are a must. The good news is that yields in many areas of the country have already shown to be very promising.

Jerzy Przytyk: It is quite a task to advise farmers about the marketability of their hemp grain. Especially now, when the North American hemp world is swimming in a sea of grain. In my part of the country, that is, in Quebec, your average organic farmer manages a mixed production. This includes, in most cases, livestock: dairy, beef, pork, chickens or some other beasts or birds. The goal of this type of organic farm is to achieve a "closed system" where all of the inputs are farm produced: compost for the fields and/or feed for livestock. If there is a market for hemp grain produced on this type of operation, great. If not, then the grain can be consumed by farm animals.

Taking into account the feed value of hemp grain, it is not hard to see that it can replace many animal ration components. Soy or flax can be replaced by hemp grain and in many cases will make a superior feed. The worth of hemp growing will be realised not only by the value of hemp grain but also by its value as a soil conditioner, as a weed suppressant and as a very excellent part of the crop rotation.

All this will make sense only if the gate price for hemp grain will be +/- $ 0.50/lb for organic grain and somewhere around $ 0.35-0.40/lb for conventional. Are these prices realistic? I think so. As much as I don't want to commodify hemp, the present price that the "generic" farmer demands for hemp grain is much too high. Once we take out the sexiness of hemp the real value of hemp grain is somewhere between soya and flax. Let's be realistic here. Why would consumers pay double for hemp oil when a well made blend of other oils can offer a nutritional value that is the same or superior to hemp's

Example: flax/borage or other oil blends. If hemp production requires less inputs and hemp has higher yields then flax why are we asking for such a high price?

Are we using the wrong varieties for grain production? Do we, as farmers have the right to demand high prices because of our own incompetency? We are in the beginning of the third year of hemp growing in Canada. It is time to get off this "disorient express" and look at hemp production as a part of our farming system and not as the magic bullet that will make farming a piece of cake.

1999 Comparison of Industrial Hemp Grain composition for oil, protein, fibre, essential amino acids and fatty acids from across Northern Ontario
By Gordon Scheifele, Northwestern Ontario Research Co-ordinator Kemptville College/University of Guelph, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

The future development of markets and industry for industrial hemp grain grown in northern Ontario is directly dependent not only upon the potential to produce the grain as an economically viable grain crop but also to demonstrate a consistent competitive quality of the industrial hemp grain for the pharmaceutical and nutritional industry. The performance of varieties, effects of agronomic practices, such as nitrogen fertility rates, time of seeding and harvest, location and year on industrial grain composition need to be established. The 1999 Northern Ontario Industrial Hemp research project was the largest and most comprehensive in Canada. It consisted of agronomic evaluations of variety performance for grain production, effect of nitrogen fertility, time of seeding and harvest on yield and grain composition for oil, protein and fibre, essential amino acid composition in industrial hempseed meal and essential fatty acid composition in industrial hemp oil.

Northern Ontario Hempfield, 1999 (G. Scheifele)

Summary: A total of five Industrial hemp research licenses and two commercial cultivation licenses were obtained from Health Canada to authorise legal permission to grow industrial hemp for grain production in Canada by the author and two commercial growers. Eight industrial hemp varieties (Fedora 19, Fedrina 74, Felina 34, Fasamo, Ferimon, Zolo 11, Zolo 13 and FIN 314) were evaluated for grain production across northern Ontario from Dryden to Verner (about 2000 km East to West) and from 46th to the 49.5th latitude. A similar, but larger research project was conducted across northern Ontario in 1998 and data from this project is compared to that of 1999.

The composition of industrial hemp grain for oil, protein and fibre, industrial hempseed meal for 18 essential amino acids (EAA) and oil for 12 essential fatty acids (EFA) was determined from clean grain samples at 4% moisture in 1999 and 12% moisture in 1998. All comparison of values from 1998 and 1999 were corrected to zero percent moisture.

Fedora 19 was consistently higher for oil composition in 1999 (mean of 34.1%) and in 1998 (mean of 31.7%). Thunder Bay had significantly higher oil composition levels (6% higher) in 1999 (location mean 33.8%) compared to the second highest location, Emo Agricultural Research Station (EARS) (location mean 31.9%). Kapuskasing Agricultural Research Station (KARS) was the lowest (location mean 30.9%). The 1999 northern Ontario oil composition for industrial hemp grain was 8% higher (environmental mean 32.9%) compared to 1998 (environmental mean 30.4%).

The 1999 protein composition of industrial hemp grain was inversely related to the oil composition. Ferimon had the highest protein composition levels (34.7%) compared to Fedora 19, which was the lowest (31.8%). The 1998 protein composition for industrial hemp grain was higher (environmental mean 39.4%) compared to 1999 (environmental 34.5%).

A regression analysis demonstrated the 1998 and 1999 interaction and differences for the industrial hemp grain oil and protein composition relationship. The 1998 oil and protein values were 31.6% and 39.3% respectively (for 51 comparisons) with a positive slope of +0.2 and a very weak correlation of 14%. The 1999 oil and protein values were 32.4% and 34.4% respectively with a negative slope of ö1.03 and a relatively strong correlation of 79%.

Hemp Harvest, Northern Ontario, 1999 (G. Scheifele)

The oil composition of Fedora 19 at KARS did not increase as grain ripened (delayed harvesting), however the protein and fibre levels did decrease as the grain ripened. Delayed seeding from May 29 to June 18 resulted in a decreased grain oil composition by 7.1%. Protein and fibre levels increased as seeding dates were delayed. The effect of different levels of nitrogen (80-120 kg/ha) on Fedora 19 did not impact oil, protein or fibre composition levels in the industrial hemp grain.

The EAA composition of industrial hemp meal demonstrated variations within varieties and across locations. There were no consistent trends for any of the 18 EAA measured. Fedora 19 and Fasamo were the most and second most consistent varieties respectively for all 18 EAA across all environments (31). The effect of nitrogen levels, seeding and harvesting dates demonstrated variations in EAA levels. The increase of nitrogen rates from 80 to 120 kg/ha increased the following amino acids: GLU, ILE and TYR by 8, 14 and 30% respectively from the lowest to the highest rates. SER, PRO, VAL, PHE, HIS and ARG were decreased by 20, 15, 8, 16, 7 and 12% respectively from the lowest to the highest rate. The remaining amino acids showed no significant trend in change due to the increased rates of nitrogen.

The effect of time of harvest based on the maturity of the grain from 70 to 100% brown seed shows GLU, ALA and LEU increase by 10, 11 and 6% respectively. PRO, VAL and HIS decreased by 43, 25 and 10% as the grain was harvested at more mature stages. The remaining amino acids showed no significant trend in change due to the delay in harvest time producing more ripe grain.

The effect of seeding dates (May 29, June 4, June 14 and June 18) on the amino acids shows ASP, GLU, PRO, TYR and HIS increase by 16, 4, 17, 13 and 5 as seeding was delayed. MET, ILE, LEU and PHE decreased by 18, 21, 5 and 13 as the seeding was delayed. The remaining amino acids showed no significant trend in change due to the delay in seeding time.

There were variations in EAA levels between 1999 and 1998, however no specific trends could be detected.

The EFA composition of industrial hemp oil demonstrated variations within varieties and across locations for the 12 EFA measured. The EFA variability for each variety over the different locations was very slight. Compared to the variety environmental means: Fedrina 74 had 4% lower oleic acid at EARS; Ferimon had 18% less stearidonic acid at VARS; Zolo 13 was 4% lower for alpha linolenic acid at KARS; Zolo 11 was 3% lower for alpha linolenic acid at Verner Agricultural Research Station (VARS). FIN 314 was 7% lower for oleic acid at KARS and Fedora 19 was 2.3% lower for alpha linolenic acid at Thunder Bay.

The variety means were compared to the environmental mean. Only oleic acid was 3% higher than the environmental mean for Fedrina 74 and alpha linolenic acid was 2.7% higher for Felina 34. Stearic acid was 7.7% higher than the environmental mean for Ferimon, Fasamo and FIN 314. Arachidic acid was 12.5% higher than the environmental mean for Zolo 13 and FIN 314. Behenic acid was 33% higher than the environmental mean for Felina 34, Zolo 13 and FIN 314.

The VARS had 10 and Thunder Bay and KARS had 9 of the 12 EFA greater than the Environmental Mean. Emo Agricultural Research Station, Dryden and New Liskeard Agricultural Research Station had 8, 6 and 6 respectively of the 12 EFA greater than the Environmental Mean.

The increased rates of nitrogen from 80 to 120 kg/ha effected an increase of alpha linolenic (omega 3), gamma linolenic (GLA) and stearidonic acids, by 10%, 16% and 43%. Oleic and linoleic (omega 6) were decreased by 10 and 1.1%.

The effect of delayed harvest (increased ripening of the grain) resulted in a 4% decrease in stearic acid and a 1% increase in linoleic acid.

The delay in seeding from May 29 to June 18 resulted in the decrease of palmitic and alpha linolenic acids by 3 and 2%. The Stearic, oleic and linoleic acids were increased by 12, 2 and 1%.

FIN 314 was the only variety with a significant variation for gamma linolenic (GLA) and stearidonic acids comparing 1998 to 1999. In 1998 it was 4.22, 69.5% and 1.53, 64.5% higher respectively than the environmental mean (2 locations in Thunder Bay). In 1999 gamma linolenic and stearidonic acids dropped to 2.4 and 0.8 respectively, 4.3% higher and 20% less respectively than the environmental mean (2 locations, KARS and Thunder Bay).

The EFA composition profiles for industrial hemp oil from northern Ontario grown industrial hemp grain were significantly higher for palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, stearidonic, arachidic, behenic and lignoceric acids (8 out of 12) to those published for industrial hemp grain produced outside northern Ontario (Crew 2000, Hempola). The EFA profile for all the varieties examined across all of northern Ontario was almost a precise 3:1 ratio of linoleic (omega 6) to alpha linolenic (omega 3) acids for 1998 and 1999. The 1998/1999 FA profile was: percent saturated fatty acids = 10.09% (palmitic, stearic, arachidic, behenic and lignoceric); percent monounsaturated fatty acids = 12.42% (palmitoleic and oleic); percent polyunsaturated patty acids = 77.08% (linoleic, gamma linolenic, alpha linolenic and stearidonic).

These impressive profiles of industrial hemp grain for composition of oil, protein and fibre, and the industrial hempseed meal for EAA and oil for EFA is important for the future development of markets and industry for industrial hemp grain grown in northern Ontario. The northern Ontario-produced industrial hemp grain is competitive with grain produced in other regions to meet the requirements of pharmaceutical and nutritional interests in oils high in EFA, especially the omega 6 and 3 in the ratio of 3:1 for human health requirements.

Continued research is essential to establish the significance of year to year effect on industrial hemp grain composition for oil, EAA of industrial hempseed meal, EFA of the oil, the agronomic management practices of fertility, time of seeding, harvesting and variety.

For more information on the 1999 Comparison of Industrial Hemp Grain Composition contact Gordon Scheifele at: gscheife@omafra.gov.on.ca

End of Parts I & II
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