A medical cannabis or hemp crop planted near Gore has performed above expectations despite dry conditions and a short growing season. The 1ha crop is one of four trial plots being grown in Southland for Mataura company Southern Medicinal which has set up a hemp propagating and manufacturing business in the town’s former paper mill.
Southern Medicinal managing director Greg Marshall said the first crop was planted just before Christmas. However, the plants had gone straight from the laboratory at the mill to the paddock and were not hardened up for outdoor conditions.
“Our first planting got really decimated by the wind. Just about then we had 140km winds.” Two more planting sessions in January filled in the gaps in the crop and there were about 2900 plants in the plot.
“What’s most amazing is how much it has grown in the space of 69 days.” Some of the first plants were about 30cm tall when they were planted out but the second and third lot of seedlings were about 5cm tall. “The second and third plantings got very high survival rates.” Some of the plants were now ready for harvesting and had grown to about 1m tall.
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