Harvest time for the Island’s hemp crop is in full swing… and it’s not an exercise for anyone with a fear of heights. In spite of extreme weather conditions during the year, which have included lengthy spells of drought and some bursts of torrential rain, the crop is up to four metres in height.
The 2022 harvest for Jersey Hemp, which began in early October and is set to be complete by the end of the month, is being carried with a new Dutch-manufactured dual-cut harvester that is in use for the first time in the Island.
Founder and Director Dave Ryan said the new harvester had made a big difference to this year’s operation. ‘Previously we have had to go over each field more than once, but now we can harvest the whole plant – the fibre, stalks and flowers – in one cut,’ he said. ‘The new machine means that we can operate more efficiently, getting the maximum yield and highest-quality product.’
Mr Ryan said this year’s weather had been ‘pretty horrendous at times’, but that the hemp plants had shown how tough they were.
Jersey Hemp has been based at Warwick Farm in St Helier since 2018, but also has crops planted in other areas of the Island.