November 22, 2009 – Hemp is at the point where canola was 30 years ago.

That was one of the messages at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance’s national convention in Winnipeg this week.

Keith Watson, Hemp Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, says the industry continues go grow.

He says they’ve seen an average of 20 percent growth in the hemp industry over the last five years.

While it can be said that hemp is at the same stage as canola was 30 years ago, watson predicts it will take half the time for hemp to become a staple in Manitoba crop rotations.

Meanwhile, grain yields were lower than normal for this year’s hemp crop.

Height was around average.

Watson says the cool weather set the crop back and yields would have been even lower if September had not been much warmer than normal.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 acres of hemp were grown in Manitoba this year.

That’s about twice as much as in 2007 and 2008 but nowhere close to the record number of acres grown in 2006. Source.

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