Can Hemp Solve the Mountain Pine Beetle Crisis?

So what can be done about Canada's blight of mountain pine beetles who are savaging forests turning them from carbon sinks to emitters? Well, at least from an economic point of view the Government of Canada think hemp might be one of the solutions.

They are investing $235,665 CD to help the District of 100 Mile House launch a hemp production pilot project. This project will "assess the viability of an industrial hemp processing facility, and includes the production of 200 acres of industrial hemp crop demonstrations, product development and test marketing. An alternative source of fibre, industrial hemp can be used in the development of construction products such as particleboard, insulation materials, and countertops." We have read elsewhere that hemp consumes about 1.7 times its dry weight in CO2 during its growth cycle, but haven't yet been able to track down a scientific study confirming this. Though we keep looking. One of the sources quoting such a figure, also suggests that "each hectare of hemp could immediately sequester some 22 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Bast crops are able to sequester more carbon than trees in a short 150 day season cycle and yet leave arable land available for food and other crop production in the remainder of the year."

In the meantime the Government of Canada are pursuing this project as "one step closer to a more sustainable, diversified local economy." ::Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Funding for Hemp Pilot Project.

See also:
Hemp Company Is One of Canada's Fastest Growing
Potential First U.S. Hemp Farmer Gets Fingerprinted
hemp insulation
hemp wood oil
hemp building bales
Irish hemp housing
Building With Hemp - the book

And, of course: TreeHugger Eco-tip: Hemp.

Tags: Animals | Architecture | Buildings | Canada | Forestry

Best of TreeHugger