Pubdate: Sat, 12 Aug 2000
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: Allied Press Limited, 2000
Contact:  P.O. Box 181, 52-66 Lower Stuart Street, Dunedin, New Zealand
Author: Dave Moore
Note: Headline supplied by newshawk


I WAS PLEASED to see recent articles about hemp and want to encourage local
leaders to investigate the viability of hemp crops for the Otago Southland
region. This area is perfect for a medium-sized hemp trial of, say, 40ha.
The Mataura paper mill is a great example. Why not convert this mill,
instead of spending $27 million mothballing the plant with the loss of so
many jobs? We could take the fibre from our trial crop and turn it into
fibreboard. If we make a half-pine, half-hemp board, it will be 20% lighter
and twice as strong for the same cost. Imagine the marketing edge this would
give the product. Also, the seed from this crop can be directly sold or
processed into oil very simply.

The earnings for the farmer are higher than dairy or beef farming. While
being a quick crop to grow (90 to 130 days) it is also an excellent
rotational crop that helps to condition the soil. Now that the Government
seems to be pulling its collective head out of the sand on hemp, we should
quickly move to get this cash crop into the ground this year.

Dave Moore, Wellington
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MAP posted-by: Don Beck