Industrial Hemp for NZ and Our GDP
The minimum benefit of a hemp crop is in its use as a rotation crop. Since hemp stabilises and enriches the soil farmers grow crops on, and provides them with weed-free fields, (without Glyphosate) it has value even if no part of the plant is being harvested and used.
The quality stock feed and easy growth alone will make a massive difference to the quality and price of stock feed on a domestic basis as we will no longer have to rely on imported soybean and oil expeller products for our highest grade feeds.
But there is another potential benefit to the livestock and farming sector. We currently have a situation where some medications like worming drenches are becoming ineffective as the target species develop immunity to the existing drenches.
THC has shown promise as a new option for organic and conventional farmers alike as a new type of drench. This avenue needs further exploration.
As the absolute minimum benefit, by using any cannabis species as a grazing crop livestock health and welfare is improved by the high mineral and protein quality of the forage, while parasite larvae do not thrive on the plants.
Therefore animals such as sheep and goats are not exposed to these dangers as they are on grass based pastures, and the requirement for drenching is reduced.
This is not a small benefit. NZ and Northland in particular (by reason of our humid summers and mild winters) is among the worst environments in the world for parasite burdens of livestock.
Urban readers, be aware this is a deadly disease. A severe outbreak of Barber's pole worm for instance bleeds 2.5 litres from a sheep or goat over 24 hours. There are few obvious external symptoms and young animals can seem to drop dead without notice.
Internal parasites account single handedly for a vast majority of lives lost across all animal species.
By legalising Cannabis, encouraging small and large businesses to produce high quality medical product, and develop Hemp as a farming practice we really do have a lot to gain.
It can produce:
Seed and oil expeller cake high in complete protein, energy and fat for stock feeds
High yield, low-input pasture crop for direct grazing or silage which is
- high in proteins and minerals,
- encourages Livestock immunity,
- repels insects and
- will not harbour internal parasite larvae
Cleaner waterways (by planting any Cannabis species around fenced-off waterways farmers would ensure excess nitrogen runoff is absorbed by the crop before it enters the waterways)
NZ Green Biofuel at better yields per hectare per annum at less expense than any other common crop.
High quality oil
Plastic and HempCrete
Where is The Environmental issue in New Zealand?
Lets Pick Two, carbon emissions and Farming vs Waterways?
As the industry already protects waterways, why not pay farmers to grow hemp along them?