Industrial hemp


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Industrial hemp

  1. 1. MINNESOTA GROWN OPPORTUNITIES A service of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, and the University of Minnesota to evaluate diversification options for Minnesota farms. Industrial Hemp D.G. Pfarr,1 M.G. Maxwell,2 K. Sannes,3 and K. Edberg4I. History: Minnesota produced 76 tons of processed hemp fiber on about 400 acres in 1942. Production Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) was widely increased to 12,450 tons of processed fiber off aboutcultivated in Europe in the mid-16th Century for 30,000 acres in 1943 and then declined to 4,950 tonsfood (porridge), and for fiber. Hemp was brought to off about 11,000 acres in 1944.South America from Spain in 1545. The original Access to tropical fiber sources, following theuse of hemp in North America is attributed to war, brought an end to the hemp production in thePuritans in New England who applied the fiber to U.S. Regulation of Cannabis was transferred to thethe production of cloth and household fabric. Drug Enforcement Agency and the cultivation ofHowever, hemp was secondary in production and industrial hemp remains illegal in the U.S. today.use to flax for cloth. Canada has recently (1998) allowed farmers to Strong demand for cordage and sailcloth in grow industrial hemp commercially. CanadianNorth America during the mid-19th century peaked agriculture officials estimate that about 25,000 acresU.S. hemp production at about 7,000 tons (largely of hemp were grown across the nation in 1999.produced in Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois). The importation of less expensive manila hempfrom tropical regions in the Pacific, the introduction II. Uses:of the cotton gin, and steam vessels resulted in a Hemp has many potential uses for its fiber,dramatic decline in the U.S. hemp industry. Total protein meal and oil. The following surveyU.S. production declined to about 3,500 tons in 1919 highlights a range of potential large-scaleand 600 tons in 1929. Hemp processing was very commercial applications.labor intensive and although labor saving equipmentwas being developed, the declining industry, A. Fiber Productscentered in Kentucky, was not competitive with Hemp contains both long coarse fibers (primarytobacco and cotton production. bast fibers associated with the phloem bundle) and The loss of access to tropical fiber sources short fine fibers (secondary bast fibers-attached toduring World War II prompted a USDA Commodity woody core). Textiles for apparel can be made fromCredit Corporation emergency program (1943 and the softened fiber. The coarse fiber can be used in1944) to finance the production of hemp for seed technical textiles such as rope, twine, canvas, andand fiber. Under this program, hemp was grown in carpets. Hemp fibers can be wholly or partiallyBlue Earth, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Jackson, substituted for wood and synthetic fibers inKandiyohi, Le Sueur, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, applications such as fiberboard, insulation,Mower, Nobles, Renville, Steele, Waseca, and fiberglass, and to strengthen cement blocks andYellow Medicine counties in Minnesota. Eleven mortar. Waste stem material and inner core (hurds)government-owned processing centers (Hemp can be used as livestock bedding or mulch. HempMills), each with the capacity to process about 4,000 fibers can be used in paper production for cardboard,acres of hemp, at a throughput of about 1000 pounds specialty paper, newsprint, and filters of many kinds.of fiber per hour, were constructed. 1 University of Minnesota Extension Service, Le Sueur County Extension Office, Le Center, MN 56057. 2 Research Associate, Le Sueur County Extension Office, Le Center, MN 56057. 3 Deputy Director of Commercial Development, AURI, P.O. Box 599 Crookston, Mn 56716 4 Assistant Director, Agricultural Marketing & Development Division, MDA, 90 W. Plato Blvd. St. Paul, Mn 55107
  2. 2. Industrial Hemp 01/18/01 Page 2B. Food and Feed Products IV. Cultural Practices: Whole hemp seed is composed of approximately30-40% oil and 20% protein. Researchers have A. Seedbed Preparationfound that hemp seed contains a good composition A well prepared, fine, firm seedbed is preferredof amino acids and does contain the 8 essential for hemp germination and emergence. Good seed-amino acids for human nutrition. Hemp seeds also soil contact is essential for even emergence, which,provide a significant amount of Vitamin E and less is important in early canopy development, which insignificant amounts of other vitamins. Hemp seed turn, is needed for non-chemical weed control.oil contains 20% Linolenic Acid and 60% Linoleic Avoid spring tillage and planting operations in wetAcid, which is considered by many to be very close soils to reduce general soil compaction and wheelto the optimum fatty acid balance for human tracks.consumption. The oil from hemp seed is not as stable as other B. Seeding Datecommon vegetable oils. Additions of a stabilizer Flowering in hemp is controlled by day length.can be used to control rancidity in the formulation of Planting date must be early enough for adequateproducts such as salad oil. In Russia, hemp butter is development of plant structure before flowering, yetwidely considered superior to peanut butter. soil temperature and conditions must be optimum for The hull of the seed is removed to produce hemp rapid emergence. Farmers in Canada have had goodflour, which can be used to make breads. After the establishment success at soil temperatures of 50-55oil is removed from the seed, the seed cake can be degrees Fahrenheit. Germination can occur at soilused as feed supplement in animal rations. temps as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Hemp seedlings display less damage from frost than cornC. Other Commercial Products or soybeans. Hemp fibers can be used in fiber composite Plant height and fiber production is reduced byproducts, compression-molded parts, brake and late planting. Effect of planting date on yield andclutch linings, and hemp oils can be used in soap, quality of seed and fiber need to be determined byshampoo, bath gels and cosmetics. research under Minnesota conditions; however mid- May seems to be a reasonable planting date forD. Energy Production Minnesota. Ethanol, methanol, charcoal, and fuel oil can bederived from the hemp plant by various production C. Method and Rate of Seedingand extraction methods, but preliminary studies Hemp should be seeded with narrow spacedgenerally conclude that these uses would not be drills using double disc openers and press wheels.competitive with food and fiber production on U.S. Narrow row spacing (6-8”) will promote earlycropland. canopy and improve weed control. Seeding depth should be maintained between ½ inch and 1 inch.III. Growth Habit, Distribution, Hemp grown for fiber should be seeded at 35 plants per square foot. Hemp grown for seed should be and Environmental Requirements: seeded at 12-15 plants per square foot. These Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a herbaceous annual seeding rates are currently being used in Canada forwith a rigid woody stem that grows to heights of 3 to monoecious (stamens and pistils in separate flowers19 feet. The plant has a deep taproot that may on the same plant) varieties. Seeding equipmentpenetrate the soil to the depth of 6 feet or more. should be calibrated carefully before seeding and Hemp is widely adapted and could be grown in then rechecked during the operation due to variationmost parts of the world. in seed size across lots and varieties. Commercial industrial hemp production is bestsuited to well-drained soils of moderate to high D. Fertility and Lime Requirementscation exchange capacity. Excess soil moisture and Hemp requires fertility similar to field corn.soil compaction result in reduced plant populations Soils testing in the medium range for phosphorusand uneven development. This crop is not viable in and potassium require 35 lbs/acre of P2O5 and 70semi-arid or arid conditions. lbs/acre of K2O. Nitrogen fertilizer at the rate of 70- 90 lbs/acre of actual nitrogen is also recommended. Minnesota Grown Opportunities: An Evaluation of Diversification Options for Minnesota Farms
  3. 3. Industrial Hemp 01/18/01 Page 3These fertility recommendations are currently used control diseases in other hemp producing regions ofin Manitoba, Canada. Hemp nitrogen fertilization, the in corn, is dependent on the soils ability toprovide nitrogen, previous cropping and previous H. Insectsmanure applications. Excess nitrogen will delay The literature reviewed indicates the potentialmaturity and may cause less uniform stem size and for insect pests to be of economic importance indecreased bark content. Soil pH should be industrial hemp. Major insect pests include;maintained above 6. European corn borer, Lygus Plant Bug, and various species of armyworm and cutworm. Several speciesE. Variety Selection of nematodes can also effect hemp. There are two major types of industrial hempbased on end use. Varieties bred for fiber are I. Harvestingcharacterized by long stalks and little branching. Monoecious industrial hemp begins pollinationVarieties selected for grain have shorter stalks, more at the base of the plant and progresses to the top.numerous branches and larger seed heads. Dual- Fiber harvest can begin when pollination has begunpurpose varieties are grown in some parts of the on ¼ of the plant. Fiber quality decreases during theworld. period from pollen shed until grain maturation. A European plant breeders have developed swather or sickle bar mower is used in Canada to cutvarieties with increased stem fiber content, improved the stalks for field retting.grain production, and very low levels of delta-9- Grain hemp is harvested with a combine whentetrahydro-cannabinol (THC), the psychoactive 2/3 of the seed on individual branches is brown. Iningredients of marijuana. The bulk of the Canadian the best case, 65% of the seed is harvested due to theacreage is planted to monoecious varieties bred for indeterminate nature of flowering and seedfiber and yet it is harvested for grain with the stem development. Grain moisture at harvest varies fromresidue harvested for fiber. 22-30%. The combine platform should be raised to cut the hemp at a height which will capture grain andF. Weed Control minimize intake of stem material. Fan speeds on Hemp growing at recommended stand densities combines should be set high to remove chaff andwill produce a dense canopy as early as five weeks undeveloped seeds. Grain storage requires carefulafter planting. This shading effect will retard weed management and drying to 10% moisture or less isgrowth without the use of herbicides. Uneven recommended. After grain harvest the stems may beemergence and delayed emergence will produce a harvested. Fiber harvested this way will be of lowerpoor canopy and less than acceptable weed control. quality.Grain producing varieties seeded in wider rowspacing and reduced populations may present J. Field Drying, Retting and Harvestchallenges to natural weed competition presented by Hemp stalks destined for fiber uses must gothe hemp crop. Currently there are no herbicides through a process where the fiber is separated fromregistered for use on industrial hemp. the rest of the stem material. Field retting is currently used in Canada and requires warmG. Diseases temperatures and nightly dews for moisture. Retting The literature describes two major diseases of is accomplished by soil bacteria digesting the pectinindustrial hemp which have impacted production and tissue connecting the fiber to the bark and centerfields in Europe and Canada. Gray mold (Botrytris core. It is necessary to turn the stem material oncecinerea) attacks hemp stems in cool and moderate or twice to enhance uniform drying and retting andtemperatures and high humidity. White mold to remove the leaves from the stems. The stalks are(Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) also attacks stems and ready to bale when the outer bark is peeling from theresults in wilt and stem breaking and lodging. center core and moisture content is at 15%. ThePythium, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia are common retting process takes 2-8 weeks (3-5 weeks insoil borne organisms which can affect emergence Manitoba).and growth of industrial hemp. Fungicide Dense large bales are suggested for storage untilapplications and seed treatments have been used to processing. During storage the bales must be Minnesota Grown Opportunities: An Evaluation of Diversification Options for Minnesota Farms
  4. 4. Industrial Hemp 01/18/01 Page 4protected from rain due to absorbency of the hemp concern to final processors include total volumecore. available, timely product delivery, and consistency of raw material meeting specifications.V. Yield Potential: Because of the nature of high volume industrial markets, manufacturers will require good assurance Industrial hemp has experienced improved yield that an adequate supply of raw material will beof fiber and grain due to traditional plant breeding available on a consistent basis. Total productionand selection. However, significant further volume, timely primary processing, and year-roundimprovements to yield and supporting agronomic product storage are issues that remain to be resolved.traits are expected as resources are devoted tobreeding and variety selection for specific regions of C. Marketingthe country. Recent Canadian experience with In the short run growers must be advised that noindustrial hemp report grain yields ranging from cash or contract markets are available in Minnesota.300-1500 lbs/acre. Field retted and baled stem In part this is due to current regulations, but also dueyields range from 3 1/2 to 5 tons per acre for to the lack of processing infrastructure. Even ifindustrial hemp grown exclusively for fiber. regulatory issues are resolved, hemp production willResidual fiber after grain production may yield ¾ to be limited to agronomic uses as a smother or green2 ton per acre. manure crop until processing infrastructure is developed and operational.VI. Production Economics Once processing infrastructure is developed, growers will need to manage market risk, probably and Markets: through contracts. Growers will need to evaluate costs of production, harvest and storage relative to It is clear that industrial hemp can be grown in contract values and determine if production isMinnesota. It is also clear that the hemp plant can economically used in a wide variety of food, feed, andindustrial applications. However, it remains unclearwhich of those uses holds the greatest marketing D. Competition and Barriers to Entryopportunity, how an industry will be formed to Hemp can be grown in many places around theprocess the hemp plant into consumer and industrial world and the technology for primary processing isproducts, and whether sufficient profit can be mobile. Minnesota producers should anticipategenerated throughout the chain to sufficiently reward global competition once large-scale or industrialall participants. markets develop. There are no known competitive advantages to production in the Upper Midwest, and few barriers to entry. Quality and consistency ofA. Primary Processing supply, and proximity to final processing markets After the retted fiber is baled, it is stored until will dictate where the crop will find its greatestdecorticated. Decortication is the process of economic advantage.separating the fibers from the core (hurd) of theplant. Technology does exist for this process,though it is still in need of refinement. VII. Information Resources: Because of the bulky nature of the raw materialand the capital-intensive technology, decortication Information contained in this bulletin is forfacilities must be located close to a large supply of informational purposes only, and is not intended toraw material. Current industry thought is that the recommend, encourage, or discourage agriculture-crop must be grown within 50-60 miles of a based business development. Before engaging inprocessing facility, and that several thousand acres any new venture consult a wide range of resourcesin a region would be required to justify building a and industry professionals in order to make a well-processing facility. informed decision.B. Further Processing Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Once the fibers and hurds have been separated, Potential. January 2000. USDA-Economic Researchthe fibers can be transported greater distances for Service. Publication processing and manufacture. Major issues of Minnesota Grown Opportunities: An Evaluation of Diversification Options for Minnesota Farms
  5. 5. Industrial Hemp 01/18/01 Page 5Industrial Hemp as an Alternative Crop for NorthDakota - North Dakota State University Hemp - Manitoba Agriculture and Food,Canada Industrial Hemp, April 1999, Bill Baxter,Program Lead, Feasibility Analysis, OntarioMinistry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,Guelph, OntarioFor further information on industrial hemp or otherpotential diversification options for Minnesota farmscontact Minnesota Grown Opportunities at:Minnesota Grown OpportunitiesCAPAP, U of M, 352 Alderman Hall,1970 Folwell Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108.Phone: (612) 625-4707; Fax: (612) 625-4237By Email: mgo@umn.eduWebsite: http://www.mgo.umn.eduMinnesota Grown Opportunities is an informationservice of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture,the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, andthe University of Minnesota. The U of M, AURI,and MDA are equal opportunity educators andemployers. Minnesota Grown Opportunities: An Evaluation of Diversification Options for Minnesota Farms
  6. 6. Industrial Hemp 01/18/01 Page 6 Projected Costs & Returns for Industrial HempCost of ProductionThe cost of production analysis below should be interpreted cautiously, given a prospective grower’s own costs andexpected returns based on information from a contracting company.Estimated - April 1998 Hemp Hemp Grain Grain & Notes Your Farm $ / acre Residual Stalk* $ / acreOperating Costs Seed $4.50/lb 20 lb/acre 90.00 90.00 Fertilizer 32.00 32.00 1 Chemicals 7.00 7.00 2 Fuel 7.50 10.10 Crop/Hail Insurance 12.00 14.00 Other Cost 7.50 7.50 Licensing Fee 9.75 9.75 3 Sampling and Analytical Fees 9.75 9.75 4 Drying Costs $.03/lb 18.00 18.00 Cleaning Costs 3.25 3.25 Interest on Operating 9.80 9.80TOTAL OPERATING COSTS 206.55 211.15Fixed Costs Land Investment Costs 85.00 85.00 Machinery Depreciation 17.50 21.00 Machinery Investment and Operating Costs 20.00 28.77 Storage Cost 2.14 3.54 Land Taxes 16.00 16.00TOTAL FIXED COSTS 140.64 154.31TOTAL OPERATING AND 347.19 365.46FIXED COST Labour 25.00 35.00TOTAL COSTS 372.19 400.46NOTES:1) 93 lb N/acre, 32 lb P2O5/acre, 44 lb K2O/acre2) Glyphosate used prior to seeding of crop.3 & 4) Cost not yet known - this analysis assumes $300 spread over a 20 acre field.* Residual Stalk is the hemp stalks remaining after harvesting hemp grain not to be confused with hemp grown exclusively for fibre. Minnesota Grown Opportunities: An Evaluation of Diversification Options for Minnesota Farms
  7. 7. Industrial Hemp 01/18/01 Page 7NET RETURN(Assuming 600 lbs./acre grain yield and 3000 lbs./acre residual stock yield) Hemp Grain Hemp Grain & $ / acre Residual Notes Your Farm Stalk* $ / acreRevenue seed @ $.50/lb 300 300Revenue fibre @ $120/ton 180 5TOTAL REVENUE 300 480TOTAL COSTS 372.19 400.46NET RETURN (72.19) $79.54NOTES:5) Because Industrial Hemp has very few established markets and is not yet approved for commercial production inMinnesota cost and return assumptions are based on production experience in Manitoba and Ontario. Residual stalk(fibre) value may be expected to decrease in 2000 due to large Canadian carryover stocks from 1999.* Residual Stalk is the hemp stalks remaining after harvesting hemp grain not to be confused with hemp grown exclusively for fibre. Minnesota Grown Opportunities: An Evaluation of Diversification Options for Minnesota Farms