AIHA Industrial Hemp Seminar in Wodonga

In June 2019, the Nutrifield R&D team presented at the AIHA Industrial Hemp seminar in Wodonga, VIC, Australia. They presented alongside academics and industry partners including CSIRO, and several large hemp farmers. Some key slides from their presentation are shown here:

Nutrifield is excited to announce their recently granted licence to grow low THC Cannabis (hemp). It has been identified that there is a gap in hemp-focused research and now with this licence, Nutrifield will be able to fill this gap and provide cutting edge, value-add research to hemp farmers in Australia and globally. Nutrifield will work closely with hemp farmers and academia to better understand hemp’s nutritional requirements, and the cultivar-specific responses to biostimulants. This work will support the development of specialised fertiliser and biostimulant formulations, to improve yield and achieve superior hemp-products.

Whilst Nutrifield has done considerable research on biostimulants over the years, the opportunity to apply this to hemp is an exciting new direction for the team. One project, which they’re particularly excited about, is a collaborative project with RMIT University aiming to identify and characterise biostimulants which improve:

  • hemp fibre yield and quality
  • hemp seed yield and nutritional value
  • hempseed-oil functional food value

These biostimulants are a fascinating and complex research topic. They are a broad class of compounds, which have beneficial effects on plant growth, development, and yield and are often sourced from unusual products such as: plant and soil extracts, microbes, or microbial products. Whilst their use within agriculture is well established, their modes of action and optimal dosages are often species specific and generally unknown. As part of this project with RMIT, Nutrifield has conducted preliminary work on model plants to screen for biostimulants of interest, which will then later be tested on hemp. They presented some of these findings at the seminar.

They presented exciting results of two preliminary experiments relating to biostimulant effects on plant development and yield. The first explored the impact of Root Nectar and willow bark extract on the induction of root formation and branching in chrysanthemum and lavender. While the second explored the impact of Crystalic on yield quantity and quality in strawberry plants, generously provided by Sunny Ridge strawberry farm.

Nutrifield was honoured to present these findings at the AIHA Industrial Hemp seminar in Wodonga. It is clear that biostimulants can be used to improve plant growth and alter the chemical composition of plant products, and it will be exciting to see the results of follow on biostimulant studies on hemp.