InCrops Hemp harvester
On Friday 3rd September local farmers, scientists, students and staff from Easton College and the Culture of the Countryside team were invited by the InCrops Enterprise Hub to hear about and see a demonstration of a new Hemp harvester. Dr. Carlos Gonzalez, agri-business manager for InCrops, has been working at Easton growing plants such as Echinacea, Linseed, Woad, Geraniums and Hemp as part of the scientific and practical studies that are part of the innovative and supportive role that InCrops are playing with farmers, businesses and scientists. Hemp can be used in construction blocks, automotive parts, composites, paper, cloth, building insulation, food and animal feed, and is known as the ‘hospital plant’ as it cleans the soil, does not need herbicides or pesticides, smothers weeds, requires small amounts of fertiliser and encourages bird and wild life. It is grown worldwide, specifically in France, Holland, Finland, Canada and the USA. In the UK it is regulated and can not be grown near roads or houses at present.
Harvesting and the role of the factory are areas that InCrops are focusing upon as the means to promote this crop amongst farmers and businesses to encourage financial, practical and innovative future usage. Stephen Eyles, an agricultural engineer supported by InCrops has designed a harvester which can cut cleanly in 3 different lengths and is amazingly fast and efficient. This harvester could be one of the answers to Hemp farming having a productive and vibrant local future life.