Bumper Hemp Crop Expected!

Bumper Hemp Crop Expected!
Posted by FoM on August 17, 1999 at 07:21:55 PT
By John Miner, Free Press Regional Reporter
Source: London Free Press
Just weeks away from the start of harvest, this year's hemp crop is looking excellent, according to a Chatham area processor.
"It seems to like the drought because it is coming along very well compared with other crops," said Bob L'Ecuyer, general manager at Kenex Ltd.L'Ecuyer said the harvest should start in early September.This is the second year hemp has been legally grown as a commercial crop in Canada. It is still banned in the United States.Kenex Ltd. is one of two companies that has set up processing facilities. The other, Hempline Inc., is based in Delaware.Kenex has about 800 hectares growing this summer, mostly in Kent County, while Delaware's Hempline has contracted for about 400 hectares from farmers in Elgin, Middlesex, Perth, Oxford and Lambton counties.Because of its close association with marijuana, the crop is strictly controlled by the federal government with farmers required to obtain licences. Last year there were complaints the government was too slow in approving licences.L'Ecuyer said there was a similar problem this spring with delays in approval.Hemp can be used in dozens of products, from textiles to automotive parts.With commercial production established, the markets are now starting to open up, L'Ecuyer said."The fibre market is developing well. We have just landed some fairly major sales in the auto industry in the last month," he said.Interest among farmers in growing the crop is keen, he said."There is definitely more requests than what we have acreage for," he said. August 17, 1999
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