A small event took place in the Landes region at the end of September 2022: for the first time, cotton was harvested by hand. This challenge was taken up on a half-hectare plot by the Research & Innovation department of Maïsadour’s agricultural division, in partnership with Tissage Moutet, in Orthez (64). The objective is to obtain economic returns on the crop and to supply this cotton to a local player in the textile sector. The project is on track, and teams from the Agricultural Pole were recently at Tissage Moutet to see the results of the first spinning trials.
Maïsadour has been growing iris for twenty years. The sandy soil of the Landes de Gascogne forest is perfectly suited to this plant. This project is being carried out in collaboration with Biolandes, a family business based in the heart of our region that specializes in the production of aromatic plant ingredients.
Each year, several tons of iris rhizomes are harvested. The iris extracts obtained are used in perfumery, but also in drinks or dairy products where they bring all their aroma.
Hemp is a crop with many agronomic advantages, requiring little water and few crop protection products. In order to develop this sector, Maïsadour is looking for industrialists to set up local facilities and make use of the entire plant: the seed, the inside of the stalk (for biomaterials) and the outside of the stalk (fiber).
In 2022, a first experiment went well on a half-hectare plot: after planting in May, the harvest took place in October. As this crop requires water and sun on sandy soil, it is perfectly suited to the heart of the Landes. One more asset in the crop rotation! The next step is to determine the best variety and mechanize the harvest.
The experiment has been conducted since 2020 on a 4-hectare plot with eight varieties. It is a perennial crop, harvested from mid-June to the end of July. The project is developing each year, and the first conclusions will be known when full production is reached in two years.
As the months go by, each of the eight varieties asserts its characteristics. After two manual harvests, the next major step in this experiment is the switch to a mechanical harvester before delivery to our partner, Aquitaine Légumes Surgelés.