A trial planting of three varieties of hemp and one variety of kanaf, has been established in the Mackay area to discover whether a natural fibre crop could be a money earner in cane fallow.
The Central Queensland BSES has established a one-hectare trial plot of hemp to see whether growers could tap into the emerging natural fibre industry.
In August legislation was passed in Queensland to allow research, production, processing, marketing and trade in industrial cannabis fibre and seed products, with the exception of those products that could be smoked, administered or consumed.
Senior BSES extension officer John Agnew, who is carrying out the trial, said as hemp was a 100-day crop, it would be ideal for the fallow phase of a cane rotation.
He heads a hemp trial committee, which includes representatives from Mackay Sugar, the QDPI, the Mackay Tourist Development Bureau, the Hemp Advisory Committee and other interested Government departments.