Thursday, August 03, 2006
HEMP VS. COTTON
At present there is little excuse to continue growing cotton; in fact, the Australian government is considering banning it outright as it consumes so much water. Historical record shows us that that our forebearers also eschewed cotton, one in particular favouring hemp. Looking through a copy of Alson Secor's Hemp Handbook of 1933, kindly sent to me by John Craig Lupien in the US, I find the following quote:
"...Cotton has been over-produced in spite of the twelve important insect enemies of that crop, the fighting of which has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, with no perceptible lessening of these pests. Here in the North we are growing almost no fibers - a little flax in Oregon and some hemp in Wisconsin. Hemp has the distinction of having practically no destructive enemies. It is not eaten by any livestock, free from insect pests, and is not hurt by disease."
Secor continues with the fact that one cotton farmer, who may have been then in possession of the largest cotton plantation in the US, plants one third of his land with hemp for fertilisation and weeding, planting up to 20,000 acres of hemp at one time for these purposes alone. The cotton farmer asserted that hemp increased the yield of cantaloupes by 100%.
Cotton farming today has turned into a nasty business in many places. It is time we rooted out the bad and got back on track with something sustainable.
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