Major Russian producer of technical hemp finished harvest and at some fields, agricultural productivity exceeded one ton per hectare. Konopleks, the largest producer of technical (non-narcotic) hemp in the country, has completed the harvesting of industrial hemp. Agriculture occupied 3.4 thousand hectares in the Penza region, the company said. Harvesting began in August – somewhat later than the plan due to climatic conditions, but in general they were able to be carried out in the planned agrotechnical terms. In some fields, the yield exceeded 1 t / ha. In the company’s rotation, 12.5 thousand hectares of land, except for three Central Russian hemp varieties, it cultivates buckwheat, mustard and winter wheat.
Nowadays, hemp seeds are moonlighting and are storing them for sowing next year. Also, the crop of oilseeds from the beginning of September entered processing. In addition to edible hemp seeds, the company produces cold-pressed oil and hemp flour. In addition, Konoplex produces hemp fiber: 200 tons were produced last year, and it is planned to increase this volume to 500 tons.
In September, the company announced the start of construction of a complex for processing oilseed crops worth 200 million rubles. In addition to technical hemp, it will process flax, sunflower, mustard and pumpkin seeds. It is planned to launch new capacities in the first quarter of 2020. The commissioning of the new site will double the current capacity for the production of oils. The company will be able to produce 20 million bottles of cold pressed oil per year with the possibility of increasing production to 40 million bottles, as well as 25 thousand tons of food additives, flour, superfoods.
In recent years, technical hemp has become interesting to farmers, it is widely used in both light and food industries, Anastasia Vladimirova, a partner in the consulting direction of Walter Construction, commented to Agroinvestor. Both woven and non-woven fibers and materials are produced from the stems. In Russia, the domestic shock-wave technology for processing industrial hemp fiber into cotonin is widely used – a material superior to flax in consumer qualities, similar in structure to cotton. “In addition to the textile industry, the products of deep processing of such hemp are used in the food, paper, and automotive industries, and they are used in the production of some building materials. In total, more than 1 thousand kinds of products can be produced from the components of this plant, ”she says.
When processing from hemp, you can get not only cotonin and short fiber, but also a fire, which is obtained from the lignified part of the stem, continues Vladimirova. It is used for the production of building and heat-insulating boards, and in the food industry it is interesting for enterprises that grow mushrooms: a bonfire is used to form a substrate – the environment where these mushrooms grow. Oil, protein and food are also produced from technical hemp seeds for a healthy lifestyle, Vladimirova adds.
In 2019, industrial hemp (Central Russian and southern) in Russia was sown on 10.2 thousand ha, which is almost 30% more than in 2018, follows from the data of the Federal State Statistics Service. Including more than a third of the sown area – 3.8 thousand hectares – accounted for the Penza region. “Konopleks” in the long term plans to increase crops of technical hemp up to 5 thousand hectares. The production of flax and hemp fiber is one of the priority areas of the state program for the development of agriculture. The sector began to develop actively after 2012, when control over the production of technical hemp was reduced. In addition to Konoplex, large projects are being implemented by the agricultural company Yuzhnaya, Mordovian hemp plants, Nizhny Novgorod hemp fibers (the founders are top managers of AFG National) and others. So, at this year major Russian producer of technical hemp finished harvest and this is very good!