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An industrial hemp field in full bloom.

Baling industrial hemp into round bales

 

Farmers around the globe are trying to find field crops as cultivation alternatives that would allow them to adapt their crop sequence to changing framework conditions governing such aspects as climate, soil, environment, marketing, (animal) nutrition and requirements imposed by society and the law.

In a large number of countries, the cultivation of cannabis and industrial hemp is becoming increasingly important. Whether you consider cannabis used for medical purposes or industrial hemp which serves as a premium raw material for fibers and for products synthesized from hemp oil or hemp juice - the use of hemp is multifaceted.

It is essential to distinguish between the two species of the plant: Industrial hemp contains a high concentration of cannabidiol, which has no psychoactive properties - unlike the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) found in medical cannabis. The various products made from hemp require different parts of the plant, which is why it is imperative that the selection of the varieties be perfectly matched accordingly.

The cannabidiol, CBD in short, is contained in the blossoms and leaves of the female plants. This substance is mainly processed into CBD oil, but also used for the production of other food supplements and cosmetics. Forming the basis for textiles and insulating materials, hemp fibers are also used as reinforcement for plastics used, for instance, in the car industry.

Industrial hemp can be legally cultivated on an industrial scale, while the growing of cannabis with substantial concentrations of THC is strictly regulated by national laws that vary from country to country.

Hemp harvest

Depending on their later use, the upper portions of the plant are largely chopped first in order to harness the individual raw materials in the subsequent process by applying a variety of separation methods and completing various processing steps. The process allows for both mowing and chopping. The harvesting process is helped along significantly by the baling of silage round bales, as it eliminates the need for drying the hemp plants by depositing them in swaths on the field, which is technically complex, involves great losses and depends on the weather conditions. The machines Göweil has optimized for baling hemp allow you to densely compress and, thus, efficiently transport premium raw materials regardless of the cultivation site and without any loss in quality.

 

Baling hemp with tried-and-tested Göweil technology

With the stationary baler-wrapper combinations LT-Master and VARIO-Master and the G-1 B5040 baler-wrapper combination, which has been converted to an innovative bunker baler, GÖWEIL is offering powerful and professional machines capable of satisfying the stringent quality standards applicable in hemp production.

Hemp baling with the VARIO-Master / LT-Master:

While the LT-Master was formerly used predominantly for such chopped materials as corn, beet pump or other bulk materials, a steadily growing number of professional contract harvesters are discovering that our tried-and-trusted agricultural equipment delivers the same benefits when used for baling hemp.

Hemp baling with the G-1 B5040 Bunker baler

The latest model addition is the established G-1 F125 Kombi baler-wrapper combination, which is now equipped with a bunker for mowed and chopped material and allows for the completion of the harvest in one single run. Problems that used to arise from material become wrapped up in the area of the pickup have been resolved by the option to fill the bale chamber from the top.

The advantages of baling hemp into round bales at a glance:

  • Optimization and acceleration of the harvesting process: Fewer work processes needed depending on the harvesting and baling technology used. Using the G-1 B5040 baler-wrapper combination with bunker proves particularly beneficial as it combines mowing, baling and wrapping in one single work step and delivers work results of the highest quality. GÖWEIL offers practical solutions for both longer portions of plants and chopped material.

  • Quality by reliable preservation in silage bales: A high bale density ensures that the sugar stored in the material is metabolized by lactic acid bacteria in the absence of air, resulting in a lower pH value. This ensiling process makes the wrapped hemp stable enough for storage and preserves its quality.

  • Economical transport: The hemp plants possess only a low bulk density regardless of the harvesting method used. This makes transport laborious as it involves the moving of a large volume with a small weight. High compression makes transport more efficient and allows for further processing irrespective of the cultivation site.

  • Ensuring consistent quality: If produced properly, silage round bales preserve the quality of the crop for a long time. Unlike the so-called field retting, which involves the deposit of swaths, bales of hemp allow for subsequent drying with greater control and independent of the weather and the cultivation site.

  • Continuous processing: The storability of the hemp silage bales provides for continuous availability, shortening the duration of labor peaks in the manufacturing industry. Hemp growers can also sell their bales during the off-season, allowing them, for example, to take advantage of seasonal price fluctuations. Also, the quality and variety of hemp products can be increased as well thanks to production all year round.

  • Easy storage and flexible handling: Hemp silage bales can be stored without much effort. All that is needed is a surface of sufficient size that is level and, ideally, paved. The wrapped material is safely protected against contamination and moisture. Just as all types of silage bales, hemp silage bales require careful handling to prevent damage to the film layers and to ensure the quality of the work results over a long period.

 

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