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German harvester picks up innovation award at EIHA conference

Heinrich Wieker, creator of self-propelled hemp harvester.Heinrich Wieker, CEO at H8 Automation.
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Henrys Hemp Harvester a front-loading attachment for harvesting industrial hemp flowers and stems designed for small and medium sized farms has been named winner of the European Industrial Hemp Association’s Hemp Product of the Year competition. The honor, given for innovation, was voted by participants of EIHA’s annual conference at the end of the online event’s first day, Tuesday, June 16.

Four years in development by German entrepreneur and inventor Heinrich Wieker, the HHHarvester collects the plant’s flowers and severs the stems in one pass, employing a patented stripping mechanism. The flowers can be collected in a bag or container, while the hemp stalks are left in the field for retting. Depending on plant maturity at the time of harvesting, it’s also possible to shake out the seeds, completing a triple yield.

The standard 2-unit HHHarvester is designed to be efficient for conventionally planted outdoor hemp fields as small as 5 hectares (12.3 acres). Tests with the machine proved it can harvest 4-5 hectares (9.8-12.3 acres) per day. But the harvesting ensemble is modular, expandable up to six units that proportionally increase the harvest area.

See the HHHarvester running in the field.

Eco building takes second prize

Second place in the competition went to SUNIMPLANT a ground-breaking eco-building in Morocco that combines hempcrete, hemp biocomposite panels and a high-tech solar energy system for total independence from the electrical grid. The SUNIMPLANT project, designed as a single-family dwelling, was completed by a team of organizations led by Adrar Nouh, a Moroccan cooperative which promotes the use of indigenous hemp stalk for rural development and sustainable employment in Morocco’s impoverished High Rif.

Third place was captured by Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. of Germany for its Lyohemp knitwear, which is produced from an innovative cellulose man-made fiber based on dissolving pulp derived from organically grown hemp.

The EIHA conference continues Wednesday, June 17 with sessions planned on fiber & textiles, breeding, food and CBD.


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