The Pennsylvania Senate took another step closer to the legalization of industrial hemp on Wednesday after unanimously passing a bill that would establish a statewide cultivation pilot program through the creation of an Industrial Hemp Licensing Board in the Department of Agriculture. Read more…
This is GREAT NEWS and shows that awareness of the benefits and economic value and potential of industrial hemp is growing! (no pun intended) As farmers struggle to earn an equitable return on their investments in their operations, and for too many farmers around the country simply trying to make ends meet, adding or converting their crop to industrial hemp will prove to be a boon for their businesses and livelihood. Hemp can literally spark an agricultural and industrial revolution!
The myriad benefits of growing industrial hemp is impressive:
- Able to grow in every continent except Antarctica.
- Requires minimal water to grow, easing the strain on a worldwide dwindling potable water supply. Hemp also improves the water quality of a surrounding area.
- Requires no pesticides or herbicides. With growth averaging 15 feet in 100 days, hemp provides its own mulch, shades out weeds, and reduces or eliminates the use of costly herbicides. After which, the field is virtually weed-free, nourished, and ready for the next crop. Because of this enrichment, farmers report an increase in yields and size of crops grown after a planting of hemp.
- Hemp does not deplete the soil of nutrients, but rather nourishes it instead.
- Its deep root system prevents soil erosion. Seemingly not a big deal until you realize that approximately 6 pounds of topsoil washes away into rivers and oceans for every pound of food produced in the United States alone. What’s the impact? Return to the devastating Dust Bowl years of the 1930’s.
- Hemp yields four times more fiber per acre than trees do. Although hemp can greatly reduce the need to cut down trees, it cannot replace forests. Both are needed. Forests worldwide are being cut down at a faster rate than they can regrow, including ancient forests whose gifts cannot be recovered.
- Hemp absorbs heavy-metal contamination from the air and the soil and can help clean up both if hemp were allowed to be planted in the US.
- Hemp vs Cotton – Hemp provides 8 times the tensile strength and 4 times the durability of cotton, while requiring 50% less water to grow, yet yielding 200% more fiber per acre than cotton.
- Hemp vs Trees – Hemp breaths in 4-times more carbon dioxide (CO2) than trees during it’s quick 12-14 week growing cycle. Trees take 20+ years to mature vs 4 months for Industrial Hemp! Our forests are being cut down 3-times faster than they can grow! One acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber pulp as 4.1 acres of trees.