Energy Farming

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enery farming header

How will this planet evolve from its Petroleum Addiction? - GROW HEMP & GROW ALGAE

Can it really be that simple? Grow Hemp? Grow Algae??

Well, let's look at the facts:

  • Fuel :: The Diesel engine was invented with, and designed to run on Hempseed oil. Many people are today converting their common diesel based cars to run on Bio-diesel, and Vegetable oil waste. Utilizing Hemp as a natural resource, farming it for use in diesel engines is this planet's destiny, if we're to move beyond our current petrol-based paths of depletion. The Peak of oil production is upon us, and there is no choice left but for switching to renewable natural resources.
  • Energy/Electricity/BioMass :: Hemp is Earth's number-one biomass resource; it is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in four months (300-1000 gallons of hempseed oil as well). Hemp needs no fertilizers nor dangerous pesticides to grow; actually helps the soil2, shedding its lush foliage throughout the season, adding mulch to the soil and helping retain moisture. Due to hemp's deep tap roots, the ground actually improves over time with hemp farming, unlike other crops which require massive amounts of energy/fossil fuels (in the form of fertilizer) to be grown/processed, overtime poisoning the farmland used. Hemp is Earth's most efficient solar power - via photosynthesis Hemp converts sunlight/energy and carbon from the atmosphere into usable BioMass for fuel, power for electrical plants, and more.
  • Fiber/Paper/Construction Material :: Until 1883, from 75-90% of all paper in the world was made with cannabis hemp fiber including paper for books, Bibles, maps, paper money, stocks and bonds, newspaper, etc. Removing Hemp as a valid raw material, and replacing it with deforestation and logging has had dire consequences on our planet as a whole.
  • Textiles :: Cotton farming is notoriously difficult, and requires massive amounts of inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, labor) in order to produce a viable product. Hemp farming can easily replace cotton as a premier source of textiles, cordage and linen.
  • Food Source :: Of the more than 3 million edible plants that grow on Earth, no other single plant source can compare with the nutritional value of hempseeds. Both the complete protein and the oils contained in hempseeds (rich in linoleic and linolenic acids) are in ideal ratios for human nutrition. Hempseed is the preferred seed of many songbirds3, and to this day a loophole exists in Hemp prohibition that allows for birdseed, for it is truly a vital food for the birds.

 

the above are two examples of propaganda the US government used during WWII to encourage hemp production (then later denied ever doing1)

The standard prohibitionist argument used to oppose utilizing hemp once again as a natural resouces is that there are other products which can be used for biomass or for fiber which produce as much as (or more than) hemp. Kenaf is commonly referred to as an even better crop to use, for an acre will product up to 11 tons of usable fiber. However, unlike the hemp plant, the kenaf does not provide oil along with the fiber - as it does not have the prized food of the hempseed and the oil contained within. Hemp also produces two types of fiber, hemp bast and hemp hurds. Per acre annually hemp produces 4-9 m. tons of bast fiber and 12-40 m. tons of hurd fiber; more than twice as much useable fiber as kenaf.

The fact is - Hemp is the premier source for replacing deforestation, petroleum and fossil-based fuels, as well as providing a healthy food source, and have an overall cleansing affect on the earth's atmosphere. If there wasn't nearly a century of gutter science keeping Hemp from being used, it'd be in use already. There is a lot of disinformation, and budget-funded agendas driving this issue.

The planet must begin to move beyond petroleum and fossil-based fuels if society and the biosphere is to continue to function and progress. The current energy supply based upon non-renewable resources is a path leading to depletion and destruction of all resources. Changing course begins with removing legislation which prevents the use of this amazing, suppressed raw natural resource.

Algae's promise as a biofuel continues to progress, and will be applicable in nearly any environment where water is available.  The main hurdle for the algae biofuel process to overcome seems to be the high cost of extraction of fuel from the biomass itself.  A vast benefit of energy farming with hemp, which doesn't apply to algae biomass, is the healing to the Earth which is provided as a side-effect of converting soybean and corn cropland to hemp.  No more pesticides or fertilizers needed, as well as far less energy is needed to grow the crop vs. today's soy & corn crops.  Not to mention the amount of increased production, hemp for fuel and fiber is grown in a densely populated field, and it outgrows any competition.  Corn and soy, are engineered to grown in long rows with lots of open farmland wasted inbeteen.  The biomass density of a hempfield has a vast carbon sink effect, with roots deep into the soil replenishing lost nutrients below, and oil, food and fiber produced above ground.

US Domestic Daily Oil Consumption = 20mln barrels / day 4
US Domestic Yearly Oil Consumption = 7.3Bln barrels / year 4
Acres of farmland in USA: 2.2Bln 5

Acres of US farmland in hemp needed to meet 50% of oil consumption need: ~450mln (20% of available)

Canadian hemp farmers have been harvesting (conservatively) 6 barrels of oil per acre, as well as 3 tons of high protein food, and other raw materials.  No other crop has the ability to be grown with so little inputs and has such a vast variety of useful outputs.  The apparent misguided corn and soy policies for the past 2 generations needs to be revisited.  The country's farmland cannot sustain these crops with them requiring such massive fossil fuel inputs.

 

How green are biofuels? (including hemp)


Resources:
1. "All the government officials – from the Library of Congress to the USDA – denied that the film had been made. They tried to say that we made it! We had to go there, and search forever to find the listing, give them copies, and prove it was legitimate. They finally accepted the truth and admitted the film into their archives," Jack Herer, commenting on research on the government film, 'Hemp for Victory'.
2. Adam Beatty, vice president of the Kentucky Agricultural Society, reported instances of good crops of hemp on the same ground for 14 years in a row without a decline in yield. Beatty, A., Southern Agriculture, C.M. Saxton & Co., NY; 1843, pg. 113. USDA Yearbook, 1913.
3. Joseph B. Hertzfield, Manager, Feed Department, The Philadelphia Seed Co. , Philadelphia, PA
4. All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008
5. USDA Factsheet

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