Australian group buys 1,047-ha farm, says it fits hemp strategy

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Australia’s Caason Group said its recent purchase of a 1,047-hectare farm fits with the company’s plans to develop industrial hemp crops in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Caason Group purchased the property, Oolloo Farm, located 200 miles north of Alice Springs, for AU$6.1 million (US$4.6 million). The property, which has a 1,000-megaliter-per-year water extraction license and six center pivots, has been a producer of irrigated hay.

“We expect the group’s existing interests in industrial hemp will benefit from the purchase and, subject to relevant approvals, enable the group to continue its development in this exciting growth sector,” said Caason Group managing director Craig Astill. Astill said Oolloo Farm would be run by subsidiary Ti Tree Food and Fodder. 

Just starting

Australia’s Northern Territory issued its first commercial hemp growing license last October.

The Territory’s hemp law established a framework for farmers and researchers to work together facilitating investment and job creation opportunities in regional areas based on industrial hemp. The licensing scheme governs such things as possession, cultivation, supply, processing and research.

The Oolloo farm will also support Caason Group’s innovation agenda in developing new crops, soil management techniques and agritech, the company said.

Caason is working with Hemp Farms Australia and ECS Botanics to establish best practices for a planned industrial hemp center at Aileron Station, a Caason-owned cattle station. The company has said it is investing about AU$500,000 (US$340,000) in the Aileron project.

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