TAILIEUCHUNG - INDUSTRIAL HEMP: GLOBAL OPERATIONS, LOCAL IMPLICATIONS

Decomposed plant matter is the main source of essentials nutrients. The harvesting time of energy crops, quantity (of energy crop rich in nutrients) removed during harvest influences the nutrient cycle of the soil, as nutrients are removed along with the crops during the harvest. This removal of nutrients with harvesting, leads to the taxing of essential nutrients in the soil. With a constant demand of biomass for industrial uses, a regular or rapid rotation harvest involving extensive removal of energy crops will result in reduced soil quality and result in increased use of fertilizers (. nitrogen fixing chemicals) that can be harmful to the soil and to micro organisms. Extensive use of fertilizers may also have a negative impact on local water resources, . run off of chemicals into streams, resulting in eutrophification. . | INDUSTRIAL HEMP GLOBAL OPERATIONS LOCAL IMPLICATIONS Valerie L. Vantreese 1998 Ms. Vantreese is an economist with the Department of Agricultural Economics College of Agriculture University of Kentucky. She can be reached at Valerie L. Vantreese 406 Agricultural Engineering Building Department of Agricultural Economics University of Kentucky Lexington Ky 40546-o276 859 257-7272 Ext. 259 vaskren@ INDUSTRIAL HEMP GLOBAL OPERATIONS LOCAL IMPLICATIONS Valerie L. Vantreese I. INTRODUCTION Industrial hemp has maintained its place in the public eye as hemp advocates and opponents continue to spar across America. Despite general acceptance in agricultural and political communities around the world US activists remain deeply divided over hemp legalization. Industrial hemp is repeatedly praised for its never-ending array of uses for its harmony with the environment as a production alternative for small farmers and as a value-added enterprise for local businesses. Meanwhile its twin cousin continues to muddy the water as industrial hemp is seen as a stepping stone to the legalization of marijuana and an impediment to the war on drugs. The legalization of industrial hemp production in the US is polarized in part on its purported profitability. Anti-drug activists have used the argument that low or lack of expected profitability from industrial hemp production does not compensate for the additional costs they believe would come with hemp legalization. If hemp is not profitable why encourage a crop that would increase illicit marijuana production and drug monitoring costs Hemp proponents counter that projected profitability has been dampened by institutional estimates that are static and short-sighted. They argue that industrial hemp could be profitable if the industry were allowed to fully develop as a commercial agricultural enterprise with additional profits earned from a multitude of value-added applications. To answer the question Would industrial hemp production be .

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