A new report authored by the UK National Farmers’ Union has urged farmers to grow hemp for the manufacture of hempcrete and also provide wool to be used as an insulating material in order to reduce the carbon emissions of the farming industry.
The objective of the National Farmers Union (NFU) is to make the farming industry carbon-neutral by 2040. This would make the sector carbon-neutral ten years ahead of the plan to make the entire UK economy carbon-neutral.
The report points out that while greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural industry have been declining since 1990, the improvement since 2011 can only be described as modest.
One way that the NFU wants to reduce the climate change effects of agriculture is by encouraging the construction of buildings using natural materials, such as hemp. It is a known fact that hemp cultivation captures atmospheric carbon.
When the hemp is then used to make hempcrete, that sequestered carbon is stored in the hempcrete bricks used for construction. It should also be noted that hempcrete is made from the woody wastes generated during hemp processing. This waste is combined with lime to create a very strong building material.
Hempcrete can also be used as an insulator. Consequently, when farmers grow hemp and sell it to the construction sector, they will help both the farming industry and the construction industry to reduce their net carbon footprint.
Minette Batters, the president of the National Farmers Union, says that the union recognizes that the farming industry is both a source and a store for greenhouse gases. The union is therefore aware of the important role that it has to play in delivering climate-neutral farming within the next 20 years.
Batters revealed that British farms contribute 10 percent of all the greenhouse gases emitted in the UK, and taking steps to reduce this carbon footprint can go a long way towards ensuring sustainability of agriculture for generations to come. Only 10 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted by the agriculture industry is carbon dioxide. 40 percent is nitrous oxide generated from different agricultural substances, such as fertilizers and 50 percent is methane gas coming from sheep and cows.
Other methods that the NFU is proposing for implementation in a bid to attain climate-neutral agriculture include using GPS technology for more precise agriculture (planting, harvesting, etc.), widening the hedgerows, adding more woodlots to farms and generating electricity from biofuels.
Experts strongly believe that hemp industry players like Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) and Earth Science Tech Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) are glad that farmer groups are looking beyond CBD and want to use hemp as a tool to reverse climate change.
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