When looking at sustainable crops — is hemp the answer?

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Hemp is one of those crops that has been in and out of favour over the past number of years. It’s not a new crop, but there’s certainly a lot of new interest in it.

Some of the shifting economies of growing hemp had to do with how the crop was previously used, and how it can be used now.

Ben Carnevale, of Blue Sky Hemp Ventures, says previously the plant had been used in a couple of ways: the seeds for food, or the flowers for CBD, which left some central waste. Blue Sky Hemp Ventures has developed a process for whole plant innovation to harvest the full value of the grain.

“We use the seed for food, we use the flower for extracts, and we use the fibre hurd for industrial applications,” Carnevale explains. “And that gives the benefit to not only the planet, but also the farmer for that biomass off-take. That’s one of the main reasons why we’re seeing a little more traction in hemp.”

Demand for plant-based products is continuing to grow across the world, says Carnevale, which is a market that hemp fits very nicely into, as hemp is a great ratio of fat and protein.

“As that market continues to develop — obviously it’s a well established market at 80 billion of plant based oil sales, and roughly about 50 billion of protein sales — we found that hemp has a good bearing within that framework. As the food scarcity or food insecurity happens globally, we’re in a good position to be able to provide healthy, substantial growth of a commodity like, hemp to the masses.

“So that’s where we’ve seen the pivot going, as you know, it’s a sustainable crop, and it can definitely supplant a lot of the insecurity that’s going on in the world today.”

Check out the full conversation with Carnevale, and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney, below: