At the Pennsylvania Farm Show, New Holland announced a formal partnership with the National Hemp Association (NHA), a non-partisan hemp advocacy group. The partnership, which will operate under the banner “Pushing Progress Together”, plans to accelerate the return of hemp commodity crops on farms across North America.
Brett Davis, vice president of New Holland North America, explains this partnership will “provide New Holland with the opportunity to hear from (the) dealer network and customers, and the more than 115,000 farmers who are looking to New Holland to bring forward supply chain solutions.” He adds that it will bring the “nation’s leading hemp advocates and educators to events where they can respond to the issues of most concern.”
The alliance will also work toward solving the industry’s biggest challenge: the absence of commercial-scale harvesting and decortication equipment needed to meet demand. In order to begin laying the foundation of an integrated North American hemp supply chain, the alliance will call on other industry partners to join a “Hemp Pledge”, and commit to purchasing hemp grown and processed in the U.S. by U.S. farmers.
The NHA has also committed to creating and funding a new “Hemp Farmer Educational Fund” to assist farmers with agricultural, regulatory, and production issues related to converting to hemp production.
“We know that the biggest challenge facing this crop and restricting its return is commercial-scale harvesting and decortication equipment,” says NHA chair and Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council president Geoff Whaling. “Without that solution, all of the promise for hemp – for the food, feed, construction, automotive, energy, and textile industry – will not be realized. Our partnership with New Holland Agriculture will be the beginning steps towards that end.”