Wisconsin has a rich history in hemp cultivation. The state’s soil and climate are ideal for the growth of the crop. Unfortunately, due to federal regulation, hemp cannot be grown in the state, or in any other state.
Hemp was first planted in Wisconsin in 1908. Over the next four decades, the state’s fertile south-central region proved to be a favorable location for cultivation. For many years, Wisconsin stood behind only Kentucky in terms of hemp acreage.
Granted, much of the production of hemp in the twentieth century was dedicated to wartime use. The military employed hemp for a variety of purposes in both World Wars. L.H. Dewey of the USDA once stated that, “Wisconsin hemp is now used in sewing the shoes worn by American soldiers and hemp fiber is at the present time the only suitable fiber available in sufficient quantities for this purpose. It is also used as cordage in ship building, and hemp tow is the best available material for calking vessels.”