Amid the western wildfires, southern hurricanes, scorching heat and virus isolation, let’s just say we were brimming with smiles on this warm day hanging in a gorgeous terpene-heavy hemp field. Seeing this new dual-purpose genetic traditionally bred for enhanced grain and cannabinoid traits felt like stepping into the future – but it just as easily could’ve been the punchy terps wafting by, toying with our sense of time.
Attendees were mostly farmers, industry experts, scientists, agronomists and other academics, with a few event company sponsors and displays to welcome visitors into the fields – Recreator included. We showed off our American grown and spun hemp and cotton blended yarn from the Recreator® Yarn Project, as well as a few fresh California-woven chambray color-ways and seamless knit fabric samples.
IMG >>> In the field with Recreator American grown and American spun hemp yarn and its finished hemp – cotton blend seamless knit textile samples (left) >>> Jersey Knit, 1x1 rib and 2x1 rib constructions with varied finishing treatments.
This entire project highlights sourcing and producing REC™ raw materials (stalk, long and short hemp fibers, roving, yarns) that have been grown in American fields, spun in American spinning mills, and put through American knitting machines to make hemp textiles from Seed to Stitch. Our research and product samples offer more than enough evidence for a wide range of high value textile applications as farmers improve their knowledge about seed sourcing, growing the crop, and harvesting and storing quality hemp fiber.
As the demand for hemp products booms and new markets open, new state and federal regulations as well as stringent commercial standards mean farmers need more stable, American-bred genetics for the industry to grow up, and scale up. By stability we mean consistency. Healthy soil supports high germination rates for seed, which sprout into resilient plants to produce wealthy yields that minimize the financial risk of testing hot for hemp’s most debated metric – the 0.3% THC limit.
"The costly manual labor required for feminized-only hemp seed production is not a scalable option," says Wendy Mosher, President of New West Genetics. "We saw this in the 2019 season when many farmers ended up upside down financially. Using existing farm machinery to grow and harvest hemp is a game-changer for the industry and farmers' ROI."
IMG >>> New West Genetics Abound sample jars featuring hemp fiber and Hurd, hemp grain, CBD and terpene rich flower trimmings and CBD rich oil. Hemp's many valuable components offer more multi-market opportunities for row crop farmers looking to diversify.
For Mosher and the New West Genetics team, quality products need quality seed – enter the Association of Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), which performs the hard work of data collection for targeted breeding traits in their field labs, and helping to place Abound™ in a category all its own among hemp genetics.
“Abound is the only hemp seed bred exclusively for row crop farmers backed by seven years of research, development and breeding focused on high-CBD flower and nutritious grain to specifically enhance farm yields,” reads the New West Genetics' marketing materials on the new cultivar.
The hemp biotech company's harvesting methods have explored variables mostly around strippers and combines, and while both methods have shown increased collection of valuable phytocannabinoid, terpene and seed materials, the harvested rows demonstrated in these fields also offered progress for our textile and processing goals.
IMG >>> Against the backdrop of a looming haze of wildfires and smoky clouds above the Rockies, a look at the post-harvest, carbon-capturing hemp stalks after being cut low and stripped of the seed and flower material (Fort Collins, Colorado). The stalks can then be collected for decortication to produce bast fiber.
From here, Recreator goes into further research phases with stalk materials from domestic producers, and now domestic seed ! It is our vision to process and produce more textile-grade FAB-REC™ with qualified, transparently sourced, raw and partially finished materials to advance our multi-year project focused on bast textile processing including yarn spinning.
Recreator has assessed and continues to test a wide range of domestic fiber in our productions, bringing new markets to producers like New West Genetics and other certified stewards of the seeds that harbor the market dreams of so many farmers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs.
While we drove out of the field and back to basecamp, we couldn't help but be impacted by the enormous Budweiser hops and brew plant in Northern Colorado (In Coors country?!?), and several large animal nutrition opportunities New West Genetics' seed could be in through the Animal Feed Study research they are supporting with top agencies and organizations. Impressed in Wendy Mosher's communications during the event, the animal grain market and 'brewer type' applications for product can have more positive commercial impacts and will be displayed with continued community and commercial engagements.
We are definitely keeping up with New West Genetics' growth and harvests – check out their "Follow the Flower" virtual series and stay tuned about how this pioneering work assists us in our domestic production and processing journey from Seed to Stitch.
+ Looking to learn more about the Recreator® Yarn Project and American-spun hemp textiles – and how to grow them in U.S. soil – cruise over to our How To Make It In America series.