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Crop farmers may start growing hemp for industrial fiber

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

GRONINGEN – Crop farming has been on the wane for years in the far north of the Netherlands. Many farmers relocated to other countries while those who stayed have taken on other crops to replace potatoes, sugar beets and grain. Among the category ‘other’ also is hemp, a tall plant known for its tough fibers which are used for heavy string, rope and course cloth. The fiber also is suitable for other industrial applications. New production techniques make growing hemp a viable option, according to a feasibility study which forecasts a potential of 1,500 to 2,000 hectares of hemp in the region. The proposed hemp fiber processing plant for the agricultural region known as the Veenkoloniën (Peatbog colonies) could generate a boost to the economically depressed area. The soil is well suited for this type of hemp culture.