Creating Greener Solutions: Top 8 Hemp Agricultural Benefits
With the 2018 Farm Bill and less state restrictions on hemp cultivation, the plant has seen a resurge in agriculture. Not only is hemp used in thousands of products, an increase in hemp farming will provide a long list of benefits to America’s agronomy.
To simplify such benefits, we’ve made a list of the top 8 advantages of using hemp as a crop rotation or cash crop yield.
- Weed Suppression
No, we’re not talking about marijuana, we’re referring to the pesky weeds and plants that grow around crops and restrict healthy cultivation. Hemp grows faster than most crops, which means its big leaves provide ample shade during most of the farming season. The shaded leaves prevent weeds and undergrowth from developing in the soil.
- Less Pesticide Required
On average, hemp needs fewer pesticides than most crops. In addition, hemp’s deep six-feet rooting system thwarts a high presence of fungi from occurring – so no need to use herbicides on molds either.
- Adapts to Harsh Sunlight
Hemp is resistant to increased UV radiation, whereas crops like soybeans and corn yield less when exposed to high amounts of UV radiation.
- Remediates Soil
Hemp is the king of crop rotation. What’s great about hemp is farmers can still grow their usual crops, but use hemp as a rotator between seasons (and still profit in the process!). A 1998 study stated wheat yields were 10-20% higher after a hemp rotation thanks to the fertile soil and weed suppression.
Through phytoremediation, hemp can restore soil balance by cleaning the soil of heavy metals and contaminants. Plus, any extra hemp leaves that fall during growth add mulch and moisture preservation to the soil.
- Aerates Soil
Hemp’s deep roots naturally aerate the soil and loosen the earth to prevent erosion. The plant also adds nitrates and potassium back to the surface of the soil for plants that don’t have deep root systems.
- Less Water Required
Although it’s not optimal, hemp fairs well in drought conditions and can adapt to harsh climates. For example, one acre of hemp will produce 2-3 times more fiber than cotton with significantly less water use.
- Reduces Carbon Dioxide
Just like trees, hemp can reduce carbon dioxide in the air. Scientists predict that one ton of hemp can remove 1.63 tons of carbon dioxide.
- Grows Faster Than Trees
Hemp can be used for paper products and construction materials just like trees. But it offers a major advantage of growing faster with less land needed. One acre of hemp can make more paper than four acres of forest!
All-in-all, growing hemp can provide a myriad of benefits to the environment. Now, more than ever, we need to be aware of how we treat our environment, and hemp can be the answer to cleaning both the soil and the air around us. Just as hemp is a major part of the past, we wholeheartedly believe that hemp is the future.
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease.