The Growth of Hemp Fiber processing in the USA

The U.S. hemp industry was made possible due to the passage of the federal Hemp Farming Act of 2018.  

This has increased the demand for both hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products, growers aim to propel the industrial hemp manufacturing efforts in order to confidently answer this call.

The road back to hemp fiber textiles grown in the United States will take a while, industry experts say.  The global industrial hemp market is projected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2019 to $32 billion by 2022.

Until the nineteenth century, hemp was used in 90% of ships’ canvas sails, rigging, and nets (and thus it was a required crop in the American colonies).

Today, hemp fiber is being used as a replacement for fiberglass in automotive components and made into cloth for window dressings, shower curtains, and upholstery.

China is the world’s largest producer of hemp fabric, whereas India produces the most hemp overall.

Farmers who grow hemp claim it is a great rotation crop and can be substituted for almost any harvest. It grows without requiring pesticides and is good at aerating the soil.

Thousands of U.S. farmers have planted hemp this year, hoping to cash in on the revival of a historic American crop that was illegal to grow for more than 80 years.

In this article, we look at the benefits of Hemp Fiber and explore two emerging companies who have recently entered the business. 

Benefits of Hemp Fiber

Industrial hemp used for manufacturing applications is highly valued for its natural durability, rapid growth, and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, it is:

  • Breathable & Light Weight
  • Water-Resistant
  • UV Resistant
  • Mold Resistant
  • Strong
  • Water Efficient
  • Quick Harvest
  • Organic Growth
  • Very High Yield
  • Efficient Production Process
  • Carbon Equalizer
  • Less Acreage
  • Recyclable

The processed fiber and cellulose from industrial hemp can be used in the production of a multitude of products including textiles, a wide array of building materials, paper products, automobile composites, nanomaterials, bio-plastics and finishing products such as caulking, sealants, varnishes, and paints.

In addition, research indicates that hemp-based supercapacitors offer a less expensive alternative to materials currently used in rechargeable batteries for applications such as smartphones and electric cars.

As a result, industrial hemp is poised to transform numerous multi-billion-dollar industries.

Paragon Processing

The state-of-the-art facility offering total seed-to-shelf solutions for industrial-scale hemp processing, manufacturing, and storage, as well as private and white-label goods, is pleased to announce it is now open for business.

The high-security facility, stationed on a 38-acre property, is located 140 miles south of Denver.

The facility is 250,000 square feet; it is the largest hemp processing facility currently operating in the U.S. It can store up to 50 million pounds of hemp biomass, and hosts 13 dock-high loading positions, along with housing Superior Flow-branded proprietary processing equipment.

Paragon Processing, offers full-scale processing for up to 1 million pounds of hemp biomass per month, with a target to expand to 2 million pounds with the arrival of the upcoming 2019 fall harvest season, which runs from September through November.

Matt Evans, Co-President, Paragon Processing is pleased to offer an array of turnkey services, including extraction, distillation, isolation, THC-free processing, sales, storage, and third-party laboratory testing,”

“It is important to our mission to provide a one-stop-shop partnership for clients, whether they are farmers seeking assistance, new companies testing an idea or an established business seeking to strengthen its production practices and/or product lines.”

Panda Biotech

It is developing its first industrial hemp processing facility to produce high-quality, textile-grade fiber and premium cellulose. The “Panda High Plains Hemp Gin,” to be located in Lubbock County, Texas, is expected to be the largest hemp decortication center in the United States and one of the largest in the world.

Panda Biotech has also secured the right to purchase a 255,000 square foot processing facility in Shallowater, Texas in the heart of the cotton country. More than 130,000 tons of Texas-grown industrial hemp is expected to be processed annually into textile fiber and cellulose.

Panda Biotech is also establishing business relationships with large potential off-takers for the fiber and cellulose to be produced at its Texas facility.

In addition, the company is assembling a “first in class” advisory board composed of some of the top industrial hemp, textile and cellulose experts in the nation as well as agronomists experienced in the seeding, cultivation, and harvesting of industrial hemp.

Scott Evans, executive vice president of Panda Biotech “Hemp fiber and cellulose will help manufacturers meet the needs of today’s eco-conscious consumers who increasingly require environmentally friendly products and services.

As a result, hemp will be a game-changer for both agriculture and industry for generations to come.”

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