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Hemp the crop to beat coming energy crisis

Posted on October 9, 2004

Refer to Barry Horgan’s feature on diminishing oil resources (‘Oil gone,’ Irish Examiner, October 4).

Every time there is trouble in oil-producing countries, the price goes up and we are told supplies are running out.

To replace the energy that oil gives us we are looking at wind and wave power and rivers for smaller schemes. But there is no mention of hemp, which has the potential to meet much of our needs. The crop should grow well here; it can yield up to 10 tonnes per acre in 100 days.

It seems an acre could give two crops in a year without any need for weed killers. The root system grows six feet into the ground and when the crop is cut, the roots decay and enhance soil fertility.

I know that cannabis and marijuana are tied in here somewhere. There is still a lot of annoyance in many countries at what the US administration did in 90 seconds in 1937 when it outlawed cannabis hemp, the most perfect plant for the planet. They even got other countries to outlaw it as well.

We should be looking at developing the hemp business in preparation for the day when oil will be so dear we will have to find an alternative quickly.

If two crops can be got from an acre in 200 days, this is what farming needs.

Pat Hickey
Berkley Lodge
Model Farm Road
Cork, Ireland

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