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The Renaissance of Hemp (II)

Benefits of hemp crop

The cultivation of hemp involves very numerous environmental and agricultural benefits. It is a crop that does not need pesticides or herbicides or any type of intervention between planting and harvest.

A very suitable rotation is on land where corn is grown. Hemp is a good precedent for cereal, has a short cycle that facilitates organizing exploitation work and has been economically competitive with respect to other crops. The grain yield of wheat after hemp is superior to that of wheat in monoculture by 47% on average.

Hemp is a suffocating plant of weeds thanks to its rapid growth and foliar development, which together with a high sowing density are factors that make it winner in competition pear the uptake of light. Therefore, it acts as a natural herbicide. It also improves the structure of the sun, leaves it healthy (it captures all the excesses of heavy metals, herbicides and other toxic) and structural in depth, due to its pivoting root.

Hemp presents a high tolerance to pests and diseases. Although it suffers from the attack of insects and fungi, it is difficult for them to affect their normal development. It is a protective crop of other more delicate: Cannabinoids And terpenes are substances that attract insects and function as a biological trap. It is not affected by the boar's attack, and experience shows that after the cultivation of hemp the boar attacks to other crops decrease considerably (possibly because of the smell that remains in the sun). It is one of the few extensive crops that increases the biodiversity of the fauna where it is grown.Finally: it is biodegradable, renewable and can be done in ecological production.

Agronomy of the crop

The culture is fully machined. The sowing is done with a cereal seeder (25-35 kilos / hectare of seed). The establishment of the crop is delicate: hemp is very sensitive to a poorly prepared sowing bed and the lack of ay guide during the first stages of growth. Afterwards, no work is no longer needed to harvest.

Hemp cultivation works well for a double use, always a main one with respect to the other: Seed / Fiber, Fiber / Seed, Biomass / Seed, etc. According to the final destination of the harvest the handling of the crop, the moment of harvest and the machinery vary substantially. It is at the time of harvest and the transformation where the abandonment that the hemp sector has suffered during the twentieth century remains. Currently, specific machines for the cultivation of hemp are not in the market; This sector is in continuous research and development to create specific harvesting devices of different parts of the crop: fibers, flowers, seeds and even roots.

European legislation that does not help

Currently, in the European Union alone the cultivation of hemp is allowed for industrial uses, of the varieties of agricultural species authorized in the European Common Catalog that have a level of Thc. - The substance with narcotic properties - less than 0.2% on dry matter. Apart, follow-up and controls of the cultivation of hemp are carried out. In Spain, the cultivation of hemp for non-industrial uses needs the authorization of the Spanish agency of pharmaceutical products. In the last decade, in Europe and throughout the world, the sector of the cultivation and the transformation of hemp is experiencing a very large growth, with new uses and applications, currently existing a wide range of regulations and restrictions (in favor or against) according to each country and at all times. The European Union does not escape this fact, and in its breast there are countries with very restrictive crop regulations and others that are not, with maximum content thresholds of Thc. different, with specific regulations for the presence of Cannabinoids In food, while in others the crop is prohibited. This situation limits the growth of the agricultural and industrial sector of hemp.

The EIHA. (European Industrial Hemp. Association) He is working with members of the European Parliament to unify and adapt the regulations and regulations for the cultivation and hemp industry, and he has hope that soon they can be approved.

The enormous versatility of hemp and the multitude of products that can be obtained from it has already been seen. At present, more than 33,000 hectares of hemp are cultivated in Europe (data of 2016), with a trend of continued growth. European legislative reforms and state industrial promotion are key to the growth of the industrial and agrarian sector of hemp, and would allow this cultivation as a rotating culture and improving fields.

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