Pubdate: Tue, 18 Mar 2008
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Toronto Star
Author: Russell Barth


Re: Harvest dreams March 16

Whatever you do, don't let the public know about hemp. If farmers 
worldwide grew hemp
instead of corn, we wouldn't be in this mess, and if the public ever 
found out that the
looming food/fuel shortage was unnecessary and planned, they might revolt.

You see, hemp produces more ethanol per acre than corn, and does so at
a lower cost and with less damage to the soil; one acre of hemp can
produce up to 1,000 gallons of methanol in just four months. In warmer
climates, than could mean 3,000 gallons per acre, per year. If the
U.S. were to sow just 10 per cent of its current farmland as hemp, for
example, it wouldn't need to buy any foreign oil. Think about that.

The hemp tops go to food, and the stalks go for fuel, fibre and
building materials, so it is like growing two crops in one field. Hemp
will even grow on damaged, exhausted or marginal soil, so we don't
need to use our prime farmland to grow car fuel. We could even reclaim
thousands of acres of unused and abandoned land, and create jobs.

Hemp doesn't need the chemical fertilizers and pesticides that other
crops need, which saves fuel and lowers soil runoff pollution. Hemp
fuel burns clean, which would lower air pollution and reduce
associated health and environmental issues. Hemp also refreshes the
soil, so putting it into rotation with other crops will actually heal
- - not deplete - the soil.

So why do we keep using corn for fuel when hemp is cheaper, better,
healthier and cleaner? Because governments don't want to "send the
wrong message to youth" about marijuana.

Russell Barth,

Nepean, Ont.
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