10 April 1998

Canadian hemp to soar

APPROVAL of hemp production in Canada could undermine exports of the natural fibre crop from Europe.

Canadian farmers can now grow low-narcotic Cannabis sativa legally for the first time since the 1940s. "We cant sit around and let time tick by – we are wasting a prime opportunity," says Ontario farmer and hemp lobbyist Geof Kime.

His urgency stems from the fact that the US textile industry is looking for ever-larger volumes of raw hemp, which it currently imports from Europe. Production remains illegal in the US.

Hemp is seen as an ideal replacement for Canadas dwindling tobacco crop. Indeed, Canadian farmers could single-handedly supply all the US textile industrys needs, claims Mr Kime. &#42

P balanced maize

RESEARCHERS working for the US Department of Agriculture have developed a new animal feed maize hybrid that will reduce the amount of phosphorous in animal manure by 40%. Excess phosphorous from animal manures can end up in waterways and is often blamed for algae growth, eutrophication and bacterial outbreaks. The new hybrid is expected to be available to farmers in two years.n

RESEARCHERS working for the US Department of Agriculture have developed a new animal feed maize hybrid that will reduce the amount of phosphorous in animal manure by 40%. Excess phosphorous from animal manures can end up in waterways and is often blamed for algae growth, eutrophication and bacterial outbreaks. The new hybrid is expected to be available to farmers in two years.n