Industrial Hemp Variety Trials (IHVT)

The Industrial Hemp Variety Trials (IHVT) program is an Australian wide program of industrial hemp trials, co-funded by AgriFutures and the participating state and territory government agencies:- Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade,  South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regions, Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries Parks Water and Environment.

The key objective of the research trials is to develop individual variety recommendations for time of sowing, based initially on local experience. AgriFutures has appointed Mark Skewes (South Australian Research and Development Institute( SARDI) as Trial Co-ordinator and John Muir (Hemp Farming Systems) as Trial Agronomist. The Trial Coordinator will undertake variety selection each season. The Trial Agronomist will provide technical advice to trial site operations, including site visits throughout the growing season, and facilitate capacity building for trial staff.

Figure 1. Trial site locations for year one of the IHVT.

 

Sowing

The trial incorporates seven sites (Figure 1), with sowing already having commenced in the five sites in the central and southern regions from October 2022. The two northern sites will commence sowing later in 2022 due to latitude, day length and climatic differences.

Two to three different times of sowing dates are included as treatments at each trial site, planted approximately three weeks apart.

Agronomy

Several grain or dual-purpose grain/biomass varieties have been provided by seed suppliers for the IHVT trials. Each variety has been specifically selected for the suitability to each trial site/region.

Despite seed germination variations, unique red legged earth mite seedling insect damage and seeding equipment challenges, most sites have achieved, to date, establishment counts over 50 plants/m2 as planned, and are growing well.

Based on soil test results, non-limiting irrigation and fertiliser is provided specifically to each trial site to reach high variety grain/biomass yield potentials.