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1917 Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture

Posted on January 1, 1917

By RA Oakley, Agronomist in Charge of Seed Distribution, Bureau of Plant Industry

The Seed Supply Of The Nation — Hemp

Although we have still only a small acreage devoted to hemp in the United States, the acreage has doubled each year for the last three years. The area planted in 1917 was estimated at 42,000 acres. Kentucky supplies practically all of the hemp seed sown in this country. It is grown in seed plats along the Kentucky River. China and Japan furnish us large quantities of hemp seed for poultry feed, but it is practically valueless for seeding purposes. This seed can not be distinguished from our own domestic seed, and since it is much cheaper, fraud is often perpetrated on the unsuspecting farmer. The sale of Kentucky-grown hemp seed is controlled by such a small number of dealers that a tendency frequently develops toward the charging of exorbitant prices. Hemp must be specially planted for seed production, and in view of the increasing importance of the crop, seed production should be strongly encouraged. Chile offers possibilities in this connection, but for the present our efforts should be exerted at home. Our planting requirements, based on the acreage of 1917, are about 2,100,000 pounds of seed.