By LeeWEpstein

February 24, 2020


At a conference to be held in Australia from 25 to 28 February 2020, hemp will be highlighted for its potential use in fire fighting. Fires have recently ravaged Australia. Land management, available technologies and the place of the hemp industry will be discussed. Hemp concrete in Australia, a natural fire barrier.

Conference organizer Stuart Gordon of CSIRO said more than 400 participants expected to travel to Fremantle for the conference, with workshops marking the event on February 25.

Australia suffered a great deal in in recent months as devastating bushfires have ravaged large parts of the country. About 46 million acres burned, about a billion animals killed. Nearly 6,000 buildings destroyed and at least 30 lives lost in the fires. Tragic events such as these naturally lead to the question of how more sustainable material choices for highly polluting industries such as construction and textiles can help ‘sequester’ carbon.

With so many houses set to rebuilt in Australia over the coming months and years. Affected communities should fully explore the role that a carbon and fire-resistant material such as hemp concrete can play in this process, according to conference organizers. While authorities, firefighters, researchers and the community seek ways to reduce the impact of global climate change, the conference will explore hemp’s potential role in several areas to assist in this process.

More than 40 speakers

An official “welcome home” ceremony for traditional Whadjuk landowners and the Mayor of Fremantle scheduled for Day 2 of the conference before more than 40 speakers address topics such as hemp for human health and the provision of new varieties and crop agronomic expertise for local producers. Sessions will also address the many applications of hemp in sectors such as construction, food and health and beauty products. Speakers from Europe, Canada, China, and New Zealand will provide updates on industrial hemp in their countries of origin, with a valuable exchange of information on production figures, products, regulations and future projections. The pioneer of the hemp industry, Phil Warner, founding director of Ecofibre International, will facilitate sessions.

Using Cannabinoids

Another hotly debated topic in the local industry. In addition to hemp concrete is whether cannabinoids could be a harvestable product for Australian industrial hemp growers. Including Professor Tony Bacic of the ARC Medicinal Agriculture Hub at the University of La Trobe; Professor John Skerritt of the Department of Health; Mike McGuire of Canada’s Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch; Paul Mavor of Health House and Medical Cannabis Research Australia; and Dr. Amie Hayley of the Center for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University of Technology.

Seeds and Agronomy

The seed and crop agronomy sessions will hear from seed supply companies, crop consultants, researchers and growers about the best type of seed available for Australia’s highly variable conditions. As well as an exploration of what is needed in terms of research and development. This session will include a live cross with a Tasmanian hemp crop courtesy of Red Agriculture. Who will also undertake a question and answer session in the field. AgriFutures Australia, the federal research and development corporation for the development of emerging agricultural industries. Will also present plans for the industry and share news on the development of national variety testing.

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