Why is Hemp Becoming Such a Popular Crop for Farmers?
Here are six possible reasons why hemp is gaining in popularity here in the US.
American farmers are eager to grow industrial hemp—and they have good reason to be. The characteristics of this plant make it environmentally-friendly and potentially very lucrative for farmers – despite the prohibition on growing hemp in the United States for reasons other than research. Here are some of the reasons why hemp is growing in popularity…
- Growing hemp rejuvenates the soil. Unlike most crops, there’s no reason to have a fallow period (or recovery time) between crops when you’re growing hemp. This is because hemp actually puts nutrients into the soil instead of taking them out.
- Hemp requires less growing space than other crops. Hemp grows in tightly spaced clusters. This means that farmers can grow larger crops of hemp in smaller spaces – leaving more room for food crops.
- Hemp is a resilient plant. Many crops need specific environmental conditions to flourish. Hemp can grow in a wide variety of conditions and environments. It’s also unaffected by many of the insects that often plague other crops.
- Hemp is a natural weed repellent. Because industrial hemp grows in dense clusters, there is no room for weeds to sprout. This means that farmers can forgo commercial weed killers and pesticides for their hemp crops.
- The plant has very deep roots. This may not sound like a big benefit, but for farmers, the natural aeration that comes from plants with deep roots can mean less work for the farmers. There is less need to manually aerate the soil or to work it quite as much after the harvest of hemp.
- Hemp is a high-dollar crop in high demand. Because it’s not legal to grow hemp for commercial purposes, the United States imports hemp products for sale – in 2011, we imported $11.5 million in those products alone; the hemp industry in Canada is expected to bring in a billion dollars this year.