By Noah Chen
Daily, more and more scrutiny appears on the impact of pesticides on soil, water, and air quality. Rightfully so. As a result, many farmers are now looking for crops that grow with minimal harm to the environment. While using organic means for farming is an expensive process, hemp wins out. It’s inherently environmentally friendly. In fact, “green” hemp can have a net positive impact on our ecosystem overall.
The sustainability of hemp
Hemp is a tough plant, resistant to many pests and critters. This means pesticides aren’t necessary, most of the time, when growing hemp. Not only that, but bees and small animals like hemp. Their attraction means cultivating these plants might help the ecosystem.
Hemp also requires less water than most crops its size. Not only does it use less chemicals, but also takes in less water. This not only helps the environment, but it also means you’ll have a lower water bill as a hemp farmer. A lower overhead for growing means more funds to establish green practices around the farm.
The biggest sustainability feature of hemp is that it absorbs carbon dioxide at higher levels than trees and plants of a similar size. Letting hemp grow is an active way to help slow environmental damage from harmful emissions.
Green Hemp leads to fertile soil
You wouldn’t think it, but hemp is actually good for the soil. Keeping a little bit of your hemp biomass, after cultivation can help make your soil more fertile. Hemp biomass, which you can repurpose and sell, can also get mixed in with the soil. Once there, it will decompose, adding its nutrients to the soil for the next round of crops. If you’re using retting as a biomass production technique, you get the bonus of nutrient-rich water after the fact. This makes a great liquid fertilizer.
It’s also possible to put hemp to work in drought-damaged soil, or on soil contaminated by industrial pollution or accidents. It’s hardy nature means it still grows. Not only that, it’s able to absorb heavy metals and toxins while growing. The plant sucks these pollutants out of the soil. Afterward, the soil is healthy enough for other crops to grow. Hemp is so good at rejuvenating toxic soil, it grew around Chernobyl following the 1986 nuclear disaster. Not only did it thrive in the soil, but it reduced toxicity in those areas.
Eco-friendly programs for green hemp farmers
Hemp doesn’t have to do all the work on its own to stay environmentally friendly. Farmers can play a part too. Many programs exist to support green initiatives on farms. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is one example. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program is another. It provides training and financial assistance to incorporate conservation practices that increase water, air, and soil quality. The Conservation Stewardship Program and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program both help farmers identify areas where they can increase sustainability and produce cleaner crops.
These programs focus on decreasing environmental impact and increasing the quality of natural resources available to farms. They’re only recently available to hemp farmers. Taking advantage of these programs, and using organic farming methods, can help you grow a superior product.
Incorporate “green” practices to help the environment
With extensive expertise in the hemp industry, Arbor Vita8 knows not only what works and doesn’t when it comes to hemp farming, but also what’s best for the environment. With a keen eye on best practices in organic farming, our knowledgeable team can help you farm smart. Contact us today to learn more about our available resources as well as our seed-to-sale array of services.