Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Cultivation of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in Slovenia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.01  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Agricultural plants 

Code Science Field
B006  Biomedical sciences  Agronomics 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
industrial hemp, cultivation, seed yield, fibre, vegetable oils, varieties, production technology, economics, machine for harvesting hemp
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (25)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  07028  PhD Helena Abramovič  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  255 
2.  20436  PhD Aleš Belšak  Mechanical design  Researcher  2016 - 2019  356 
3.  18132  PhD Barbara Čeh  Biotechnical sciences  Head  2016 - 2019  712 
4.  18828  PhD Andreja Čerenak  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  418 
5.  29891  Bojan Čremožnik    Technical associate  2016 - 2019  96 
6.  34332  PhD Marko Flajšman  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  161 
7.  13068  PhD Srečko Glodež  Mechanical design  Researcher  2016 - 2019  857 
8.  27558  PhD Silvo Hribernik  Textile and leather  Researcher  2016 - 2019  296 
9.  05007  PhD Darja Kocjan-Ačko  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  943 
10.  35430  PhD Zala Kolenc  Chemistry  Researcher  2016 - 2019  53 
11.  17916  PhD Iztok Jože Košir  Chemistry  Researcher  2016 - 2019  552 
12.  01375  PhD Janez Kramberger  Mechanical design  Researcher  2016 - 2019  536 
13.  24332  PhD Manja Kurečič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  228 
14.  22463  PhD Anita Kušar  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  108 
15.  31811  PhD Boštjan Naglič  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  123 
16.  04169  PhD Ivan Pahole  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2016 - 2019  592 
17.  11171  PhD Martin Pavlovič  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  423 
18.  15650  PhD Lea Pogačnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2016 - 2019  291 
19.  10873  PhD Nataša Poklar Ulrih  Chemistry  Researcher  2016 - 2019  828 
20.  35062  PhD Tanja Potočnik  Plant production  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  25 
21.  24300  PhD Igor Pravst  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2016 - 2019  317 
22.  20162  PhD Sebastjan Radišek  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  621 
23.  04171  PhD Majda Sfiligoj Smole  Textile and leather  Retired researcher  2016 - 2019  433 
24.  15993  PhD Igor Šantavec  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  149 
25.  34482  PhD Marko Šori  Mechanical design  Researcher  2016 - 2018  50 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0416  Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing  Žalec  5051762000  4,258 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,215 
3.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  23,885 
4.  3018  NUTRITION INSTITUTE  Ljubljana  3609081000  492 
The proposed project includes a comprehensive study on the possibilities for successful production of industrial hemp in our growing conditions – we want to find suitable varieties for production in Slovenia for the purpose of seed and for the purpose of fibre production. At the same time, we want to define agrotechnical arrangements for this crop with the goal of stable production of quality and safe yield. The goal is also to prepare a basis for production of our own hemp varieties. Following this, we expect a positive impact on the quantity of home-produced products from hemp seed and stalks in our market. With the proposed project, all the objectives of the topic 2.2.3 Production of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in Slovenia will be fulfilled. Identified agronomic and economic parameters will provide growers a possibility of a sovereign decision for production. The goals of the project proposal are: to create a list of suitable varieties for cultivation of hemp in our growing conditions for seed production (in terms of achieving adequate / good and stable crop yield with good / adequate nutritional quality, not too strong / tough stems and sufficiently low in Δ9-tetrahidrokanabinol (THC), to create a list of suitable varieties for cultivation of hemp in our growing conditions for fiber production, prepare technological guidelines for the cultivation of industrial hemp in our growing conditions for three now in Slovenia, the most widespread varieties (sowing time, sowing density and fertilization), to create a basis for our own varieties production, economic evaluation of the production of industrial hemp, to make a concept for machine for harvesting hemp seeds, in cooperation with growers create or refine a prototype machine for harvesting hemp and perform its testing, transferring knowledge into practice.   Partners in the project have many references in this field; their collaboration in the national and international level is high. Partners in the proposed project are: Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing, Biotechnical faculty of the Ljubljana university – Department of agronomy and Department of Food Technology, Institute of Nutrition and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Maribor university. In the project, a direct participation with the users is planned; a cooperative and social enterprise Ekoci Coop will collaborate. The project is designed in eight work packages: A The examination of the adequacy of varieties of industrial hemp from European list of varieties for cultivation in our agricultural areas, and examine the existing technology of production of this crop in our country and around the world, B Variety and technological experiments with industrial hemp, C Chemical analyses of soil, seeds and oils, D Evaluation of the nutritional value in the experiments produced seed oil and of hemp, E Analysis of hemp fibre with the aim of selecting the most suitable varieties for the production of fibres, F Creating of the basis for our own varieties production, G Economic evaluation of the production of industrial hemp in H A machine for harvesting hemp.   The basis of the project are varietal and technological field trials with different varieties of industrial hemp form the EU list in two different regions of Slovenia. Crop seeds from field trials will the continuation of the project serve as a raw material for chemical analysis, the analysis of the nutritional value and fiber analysis. At the same time, we will consider the existing research results at home and abroad, and experience of growers. Production will be economically evaluated; on the basis of data from practice and the results of field trials. A prototype of a machine for harvesting hemp seeds will be elaborated. The project includes various and many ways of transferring knowledge and new findings from all the project partners in the practice in a manner that will live on beyond the end of the project.
Significance for science
In year 2015 over 170.000 ha of fields were under agricultural crops cultivation in Slovenia (SURS, 2016). However, industrial hemp was grown on only 0.3 % of them. Hemp has been »forgotten crop« for many years in 20th century. What is more important, it has been cultivated mainly manually in the past. Modern agricultural production is almost completely mechanized nowadays, so new approaches in hemp cultivation are needed.   Hemp is very unique plan in its characteristic and demands and differs a lot from other crops which are grown on Slovenian fields. Therefore, special cultivation methods and agricultural mechanization are needed.   The production of hemp is decided by an increasing number of growers. The interest of the Slovenian agronomists it is to explore the possibility of cultivation of hemp. In this project, we will obtain information and knowledge on successful and stable production of this crop in our pedoclimatic conditions. We will find out which varieties are most suitable to grow for the purpose of seed production (oil) and which for the purpose for production of the fiber. We will gain new knowledge on the acquisition of renewable natural fiber; on the impact of the varieties and agricultural technology on the quality and characteristics of the produced fibers. Chemical composition of the seeds and oils will be also determined.   An important contribution to the development of science will be the results of chemical analyzes which will explain the impact of the variety and habitat on the fat content, fatty acid composition and polyphenols content. The impact of a variety, growing conditions, location and year of growth on the antioxidant potential of hemp is not yet fully elucidated. Therefore, the influence of the variety and geographical location of growth on the antioxidant potential of hemp seed will be estimated. The results would facilitate understanding of the mechanisms of functioning of antioxidant phenolic compounds, which are in the seeds and in the oil of hemp.   We will obtain new information and supplement existing knowledge in practice on the characteristics, which should have a machine for harvesting hemp seed, which will be professionally evaluated.   Results of the project will allow also an increase in knowledge of agricultural advisers, and of other professionals in this field. At the same time, the knowledge in this field in the involved organizations will be increased.     Based on the obtained results, it will be possible to continue the improvements of individual parts of the hemp production, e.g. testing each variety for resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses, use of individual varieties for non-agricultural purposes, such as bioremediation, etc. Analyses of genetic resources, which will be included in production, processing and measuring of nutritional value, will be of great importance not just for growers but also for agronomists. After the project is ended, new candidate hemp varieties will be available.
Significance for the country
Improved agronomical technique for hemp production in our environmental conditions will allow more confident hemp production, which will be also scientifically supported. This will help to achieve high quality and stable yields in RS. List of varieties of industrial hemp with high nutritional value, which are suitable for growing in Slovenia, will represent for the farmers a welcome extension of the assortment of crops that can be included in the production / rotation. Moreover, the list of suitable varieties constitute additional options for hemp processing and this represents additional source of income and strengthen competitive advantage of every agricultural farm.   Hemp production is growing in our country. The results of this project will undoubtedly support this trend or will at least strengthened it. The involvement of cooperative Ekoci Coop in the implementation of the project (the processing of stems for fiber, field trials on the fields of the members of cooperatives) will increase connectivity between stakeholders and the newly acquired knowledge will increase their competitiveness at the market.   The results of the project will be the basis for the formulation of guidelines for economical cultivation of industrial hemp in Slovenia. The average size of fields planted with hemp was only 56 a in 2015. The reason could be also in problems with harvesting: because the harvest with the machine is still difficult, and smaller surfaces are easier to harvest manually. However, small fields can also be an advantage and an opportunity for Slovenian agriculture, which is characterized by high fragmentation of land. Usually small fields are not cultivated if it is not possible to create at least a minimum profit. The results of this project will be in great value for owners of small agricultural land because they will serve as guidelines for economical cultivation of industrial hemp and selection of varieties, which will provide a stable yield and quality even at small fields. By improvement of mechanical harvesting of hemp seed, the increase in field size will be possible.   The results of this project will be also in great importance for manufacturers of agricultural machinery. Production of machines for harvesting industrial hemp would increase their business frame. The results of this project would be useful for all users of the harvest machines, since requirements of hemp plants regarding harvesting will be known.   Industrial hemp is an important raw material for the manufacture of technical textile products. Quality of fibers is depended of the plant varieties and conditions of plant growth. Understanding this relationship could have a significant impact on the economics of agricultural cultivation. Obtaining fiber of high quality potentially opens up new possibilities in textiles.   Oil and hemp seeds are a source of natural antioxidants. Therefore, products made of oil and seeds are particularly interesting.   Candidate hemp line from breeding process, which would be candidate for new varieties of hemp, will improve the quality and quantity of crop yields. Therefore, farms would have bigger profit.   Chemical analysis of the harvested seed of different varieties grown in different regions will also offer information to pharmaceutical and food industries for further work at their field.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2016, 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2018, final report
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