Why Grow Hemp?
Article originally posted by Evo Hemp
We are exploring hemp’s powerful potential to heal soil and support farmers. Banned in the 1930s, hemp production became legal for research purposes in 2014. Let’s take a look at this plants potential as a sustainable alternative to traditional crops.
As a cover crop, hemp enhances soil health by shading out weeds—reducing the need for synthetic herbicides—and adding diversity to crop rotations, improving soil health.
Hemp is also versatile in the market, with thousands of uses for its seed, oil, and fiber. Hemp can be used to make textiles, building material, livestock bedding, paper products, bioplastics, and more. It is stronger and more durable than cotton, yet requires less space and less water to grow.
Hemp contains a compound called cannabidoil, or CBD, that has therapeutic applications. Hemp seed, which contains less than .3% THC and is non-psychoactive, is high in protein. Hemp oil has both culinary and industrial uses.
Hemp’s desirability means that successfully cultivating hemp can improve the livelihoods of organic farmers. The simple answer, you get more out of it than you put in and the crop can grow in some inhospitable conditions.
Unlike major cash crops such as corn or wheat, hemp grows in dense clusters that require very little pesticide or herbicides and a minimal amount of fertilizer. It requires significantly less water than some cash crops like cotton.
Research has discovered growing hemp holds potential to heal polluted soil. With the possibility to replace fossil fuels and be a new source of paper, hemp is considered one of the most eco-friendly crops around.
In fact, there are over 25,000 known uses for hemp. Whether you’re looking for something as complex as a form of concrete (hempcrete) or something as simple as some pet bedding, hemp has you covered.
People’s health also benefits from access to hemp. Hemp is a superfood that provides a great source of nutrients and fibers. But even better, it’s the key ingredient in CBD oil, an amazingly beneficial nutritional supplement.
The following are key in ensuring a successful farming season.
Seed selection is very important depending on the type of hemp crop your looking to produce. Are you growing for fiber, grain, or CBD? There are different specialized varieties depending on the type of hemp you’re looking to grow. If you are growing for grain, you’ll likely be looking to use a variety called Fenola. If you are growing for CBD, you will need to focus high resin producing strains like Cherry Wine.
Additionally, the style of growing will vary based on the final product you’re trying to produce. Fiber varieties have very tall, thin stalky plants that are very close together. Grain varieties will look very similar to that of a corn field. CBD varieties will be separated from each other and look similar to a pine tree farm. If growing for CBD, you’ll likely want to make sure you’re not near a farm that’s also growing hemp for grain. This is because they will have male plants that can pollinate your plot.
So far, research has shown that industrial hemp grows very quickly and performs just as well, if not better, than traditional crops. Our experience has shown hemp to be a resilient plant and a potential tool for bioremediation—plus, the bees love it.