Bumper harvest for Jersey Hemp after long dry summer

Bumper harvest for Jersey Hemp after long dry summer

And now, as the business goes into its third year, the company has plans to double its production using up to 500 vergées of land to grow the crop.

The good harvest comes after the Island experienced its fifth-warmest summer on record and the fifth-driest July since 1999. Dave Ryan, chief executive of Jersey Hemp, said that the crop had proven to be very resilient during the extreme weather.

‘We are looking at having half a tonne more seed than what we expected – about 15 to 20 per cent more than what we were told we would have,’ he said.

‘Other farmers seem to have struggled this season but we have done really well, so we are really pleased.

‘We planted quite late this season, right at the start of the drought and some of our fields did not have rain for a month. We had a few problems with weeds but we have learnt from it and we should get even better results next year.’

Mr Ryan said that he expected to harvest around 35 tonnes of hemp seed – enough to produce around 13,000 litres of hemp oil.

However, he added that it could also be used for other products including in cosmetics and bio-composite plastic.

Explaining the company’s expansion plans, he said: ‘If we get another silo and another rotary [seed] cleaner we could double what we grow now. We had 230 vergées this year, but we could go up to between 400 and 500 vergées,’ he said.

‘The farmers plan out what they are going to do with their land around December or January time so we should know more around then.

‘Next year, we should take on more staff. We did it all ourselves this year.

‘Right now we are just working on getting everything out of the fields and having a nice, clean harvest,’ he said. ‘That is our priority and we want to keep the farmers happy and give them their fields back for the potato season.’

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