Harvesting

Since no commercial harvesting technology for hemp was available at the time HempFlax began, we had to develop our own. This innovation began in 1994 and has been perfected over the course of the intervening years. For a plant with the strongest fibres in the world, it goes without saying that specialized technology is required. Due to the increase in diverse applications for hemp products, our harvesting and processing techniques have kept pace and continued to evolve.

Single cut system, for cutting the stems of industrial hemp

Hemp stems can grow four metres high. The first step was developing a special cutting device capable of slicing them into lengths of 70 cm. The cut stems are then laid in swathes. By cutting them to this specific length, the stems are managable for the next processing stages. The cutting device can be built into the existing Claas-Jaguar harvester, and is used in combination with a modified Kemper spout.

Double cut system, for cutting and harvesting both the stem and the seeds.

This system combines the unique action of the HempFlax cutting system and the use of a combine harvester to harvest the seeds into one process. This machine is based on a John Deere W660 combine harvester, whereby the cutting device with Kemper spout is mounted under the intake housing. The upper 40 to 50 cm of the plant is cut off by a grain header which is mounted on the intake housing using a mast. Since the height of the upper header is adjustable, it cuts the crop at the perfect height. In contrast to other systems, the flow of the crop through the harvester is limited to the uppermost part of the plant, whereby the optimal seed quality is obtained.

Triple cut system, for harvesting the stems, seeds, and leaves and flowers

This is the newest development, whereby all the elements of the plant can be harvested and simultaneously separated. This machine is based on the double cut system and has an extra separation system which catches the leaves and flowers, then transfers them to a lorry to be taken for further  processing.

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