It was excellent having iHemp Victoria President Darren Christie up this weekend. Our market stall at the Sunraysia Farmers’ Market on Saturday the 6th got a lot of attention. A good number of farmers came in to talk and the conversation was constantly lively. We created good contacts and the feeling of cooperation was definitely in the air. We’ll be there again on the 28th February.
After the weekend’s activities, Darren sent the following message to the Mildura iHemp Team:
“I would just like to say well done to iHemp Mildura at their first market – they did a great job and Nicola was generous with her time, even though she has a business of her own to run.
It’s amazing when people put out a positive vibe how many people come into the marquee, and communicate what they understood about industrial hemp – another builder wants to help the Hempcrete in the region, so that’s a real bonus!”
Darren continues: “It’s only just the start of what needs to be done in the area. I think people will soon get the understanding about what can be done in the Sunraysia region. So far there have been about nine varieties trialled in that area, and I know it’s a hard road there.
On visiting SuniTafe to meet Warren Lloyd (Primary Industries Manager) I learned of issues related to their growing area that might be causing problems in growing different varieties. The fertility of the land may be affected by the growing of grapes on some areas, and they type of fertilisers used. Warren totally understands the three varieties they used are grain crops and not fibre, and they are not performing well: apparently the fertiliser used was wormcastings.
He did say they may have planted a little late for flowering times, and this is information that needs to be adopted and data based for future references; again it’s about longitude and latitude for the plant. It’s going to be an interesting journey for all concerned!
We are lucky to have an Australian seed that has adapted to many climates around Australia.
Water is the major problem unfortunately for all concerned. Joe Cufari did two water programs, over head and dripper system, and seed rate per hectare.
In other areas of Victoria growth is great planting of same variety, but with difference in rainfall, soil type, and climate, there have been many crop failures around the state.
Education is the key for success in the next few years, especially in Victoria!
I had a meet with TDA Golden Field, they have money to trial but they are growing for the CBD (Cannabidiol) future, so that’s another scenario – not grain or fibre.”
More images from last weekend’s Market, and visit to Joe Cufari’s crop – click on thumbnail for full version: