Hemp Plants Need Less Pesticides than Other Crops

Hemp Plants Need Less Pesticides - shutterstock_60486802Hemp is a plant that’s grown and harvested for its seeds, which offer natural benefits, and its stalk, which can be used to make paper, clothing and fiberboard. While most crops require the use of pesticides in order to survive and thrive, hemp, or Cannabis sativa, is considered rare because it doesn’t. Pesticides are substances that are designed to protect plants from a variety of pests, including weeds, diseases and insects. Hemp, however, is naturally resistant to most pests, negating the need for any pesticides.

Not having to use pesticides is a good thing for both your health and the environment’s. While pesticides are effective in plant protection, they come with a number of unattractive side effects. Pesticides have the potential of causing health problems, such as skin and eye irritation, nervous system damage, reproductive problems and cancer. While farmers and workers are at the greatest risk, pesticides can remain on crops and can therefore be transferred to consumers. Because particles of pesticides can be spread through the air via wind, they can pollute water supplies and contaminate nearby soil. Pesticide particles have also been linked to a decrease in pollinating bees. Lastly, the registration and purchasing of pesticides cost farmers more money, which in turn transfers the increase in cost to consumers.

Once hemp seed is planted, it requires little attention. It can be planted tightly together and quickly grows tall and thick. Because it grows thick and dense, it prevents sun from reaching the soil, which keeps even the most aggressive weed pests at bay. In fact, because of its resistance to pests, hemp is often used as an organic pesticide option for other crops. Hemp can be planted beside other crops to help keep out unwanted diseases, insects and weeds. For example, it is commonly planted beside potatoes to deter potato blight fungus. In addition, farmers will plant rotations of hemp crops in-between seasons of their other crops to help improve the quality of the soil and to keep it clear from weeds and diseases.

As interest in organic crops grows, it wouldn’t be surprising if people turned to hemp more often for its nutritional benefits. Nor would it be audacious if the paper, wood and clothing industry all opt for hemp rather than trees and cotton.

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