Hemp seed harvesting followed by harvesting the fiber
When industrial hemp is grown for both grain and fibre, it is necessary to re-cut the tall stalks after combining. A combine can be modified to perform both functions at the same time by mounting a sickle-bar mower under the header to operate close to the ground. It is expected that, as markets for grain and fibre begin to differentiate, dual harvesting will cease to be a common practice. Growers of small acreages will most likely continue to combine and cut stalks as 2 separate operations.
If straw is to be harvested after combining, it is important that the weather conditions must also be suitable for drying the stalks for baling. Fall weather conditions in Northern Ontario would not normally be suitable because of poor drying conditions. The fibre from the mature stalks after grain harvest will be lower in quality and high in lignin. Such fibre would be suitable for manufacturing into composites, non-woven mats, particleboard, and possibly for pulping.