High hopes for hemp harvesters

Michelle Slater
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Gippsland industrial hemp manufacturer Darren Christie with one of hos processing machines. photograph: michelle slater.
Gippsland farmers are being encouraged to jump on board a burgeoning local industrial hemp co-operative to be launched in Morwell next month.
The co-op aims to get locals growing what is a sustainable and high-return crop to create building materials and other value-added products in a Morwell factory.
Australian hemp manufacturer Darren Christie said the co-op is teaming with Morwell solar hot water manufacturers Earthworker to look at expanding products, pooling ideas and resources.
“At this factory, we will produce building materials from the farm-gate. It’s about creating local jobs at our processing plant and creating a sustainable product,” he said.
“As a building material, it’s non-toxic and doesn’t rot. Farmers can get good returns on their crops. They don’t need to use pesticides and all parts of the plant are used.”
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