Germany’s Hanf Farm GmbH has added new technology to its Multi-Combine HC 3400, incorporating a stripper into the highly flexible hemp harvesting ensemble which has been crawling European hemp fields since 2015.
The new attachment means even greater efficiency for farmers growing hemp plants on a massive scale, incorporating a critical step in the production of seed, leaves and flowers to field operations.
“This is the next logical step in the development of our harvester,” said Rafael Dulon, Hanf Farm’s CEO, who has been working on solutions for the complicated challenges of large-scale hemp crops for over a decade.
The self-contained MC HC 3400, which has a ground clearance of 1.60 meters, can lop off plant tops several times during the yearly vegetation cycle, employing precision double-knife cutters and a lift system that adjusts the harvester to plant height. With the new add-on, plant tops are now stripped before being gently carried to the bunker by a conveyor, ensuring loss-free operation that results in pristine raw materials.
The MC HC 3400, powered by a high-performance Deutz engine, is based on Hydro-Trac technology and features a comfort cabin, GPS and camera systems.
Dulon has been involved in nearly all aspects of the hemp value chain since 1997, after Germany resumed legalization of hemp as an agricultural crop the year before. He started working with a range of contractors and suppliers in 2014 to develop a prototype forerunner to the MC HC 3400. By August 2015 the company completed its initial working model, which was employed during harvest that year. Dulon’s team has continually upgraded the machine, but the addition of the stripper is a critical advancement.
“There’s no question that as the industry matures and becomes more competitive, we must continually develop solutions that are more and more efficient,” Dulon said.
‘Dedicated to good practices’
Hanf Farm, which is mainly a hemp food ingredients producer, gets its raw, organically grown plant material primarily from fields in ecologically managed areas near its farming and processing complex in Melz, about 1.5 hours north of Berlin. The company has been certified organic since the very first days in the nineties and stands for absolute transparency in all production steps. All products can be traced back to the field where they were produced.
“We are totally dedicated to agricultural good practices that demonstrate our commitment to the environment and to humanity in general,” said Dulon.