As the hemp industry continues to grow, researchers will continue their search for the most economically viable hemp cultivars.
A recent study conducted at the University of Kentucky compared the economic viability of 11 different cultivars sourced from all over the globe.
It was found that the Polish hemp cultivar, Białobrzeskie, has the greatest economic potential for sale of seed and biofuel material, at $1,564 per hectare and $632 per acre. The study utilized single and dual-purpose hemp varieties.
Compared to single-purpose cultivars, dual purpose hemp cultivars can be harvested for fibers and seed, increasing viability as a commodity crop.
The Białobrzeskie cultivar has been in development for textile production since the 1960’s by Poland’s Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants.
According to Witold Czeszak, co-founder of the Polish hemp program, “We’ve known for a long time that Białobrzeskie is highly suited for dual cropping.” Czeszak further added that “This research is more confirmation of the economic superiority of this well-proven cultivar.”
Overall, the study found dual-purpose hemp cultivars to have the highest economic return in comparison to single-purpose hemp crops, i.e. fiber only. “Preliminary cost analysis indicates that overall dual-purpose cultivars have advantages over fiber-only cultivars in terms of potential per hectare gross profit.”
A big question resulting from the study is hemp’s viability as a regional commodity for biofuels and value-added products with research currently on-going.
One thing is for certain, the University of Kentucky study confirms the notion that hemp has massive economic potential as a key commodity with the potential to be utilized across multiple industries. In particular, hemp’s use as a commodity in biofuels is worth noting as the developed world continues to shift towards renewable energy solutions.
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