by La Vergne Lehmann
Following on from the topic of bamboo last week I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at another – perhaps slightly more controversial potentially environmentally friendly crop.
Environmental Benefits of Hemp – some food for thought!
Industrial hemp has been getting quite a bit of attention around the world for its amazing versatility and environmental benefits. Some companies are turning to hemp in order to make their products more sustainable and eco-friendly in general.
However widespread acceptance of hemp still has a long way to go. Many people are oblivious to the great benefits of hemp. Some (incorrectly) assume that it’s a drug (because of its close association with marijuana). A bit of guilt by association.
Hemp cultivation can provide many benefits for the environment. Also, hemp products can provide further environmental benefits when comparing them to products made from other fibers. So knowing little about hemp as a crop and not much more about the products that can be made from it – I thought it might be a good idea to check it out.
Here are some of the environmental claims relating to growing hemp:
● Fast and robust growth: Hemp grows extremely fast and can be grown in any climate, in any agronomic system
● Little or no herbicides/pesticides required: Hemp can be grown with no (or little) herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, or other biocides.
● Suppresses weeds: Hemp is a natural weed suppressor due to the fast growth of the canopy. Actually, hemp is a weed. Because it grows so fast and densely, it blocks out sunlight to other weeds that are trying to grow.
● Improves soil structure: Due to its long roots, hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen and helps control erosion of topsoil. Also, once harvested, any residue can act as an eco-friendly manure.
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