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Industrial hemp - a new crop for NSW


Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L), also known as ‘Indian hemp’, is one of the oldest crops known to man. It has been cultivated since ancient times for its bast (phloem) fibre in the stem, multi-purpose oil in the seeds (achenes) and an intoxicating resin secreted by epidermal glands. It is thought that C. sativa was one of the first plants to be cultivated and there is general agreement that the plant species originated in China where the greatest genetic diversity is found.

The objective of this Primefact is to provide information on a broad range of topics relating to the industrial hemp industry. Of particular interest are the issues that may affect the development of the industry in New South Wales. Industrial hemp, because of its ‘green’ image, seems to be almost self-promoting. The challenge is determining which information is factual and which information is of a promotional nature.

The contents of this Primefact include:

  • introduction
  • the plant
  • economics - growing the crop
  • agronomy
  • moisture
  • varieties
  • plant density
  • optimum temperatures
  • nutrition
  • weed control
  • pests and diseases
  • harvesting
  • retting
  • products and markets
  • yield
  • profitability
  • frequently asked questions
  • conclusion


Primefact 801 First Edition

Published: 01 Jul 2008