1942 | War demands more hemp

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

June 29, 1942 Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife Author published an article, "War Demands More Hemp" discussing the USDA's campaign launch and about the previous hemp industry.

See copy from the article below (provided by hematology.org):

"Last month, hard put for rope, twine and a quick source of cellulose, the Department of Agriculture announced a campaign to produce enough hemp seed for general plantings in 1943. Seed production will center in Kentucky, Wisconsin and California. The Commodity Credit Corporation will pay $8 per bushel (44 lbs., cleaned basis). The aim is for 350,000 bu. of seed for 1943. Usual seeding rate is one bushel to the acre.

Federal scientists state that 10,000 acres of hemp, maintained year after year, will yield as much pulp as 40,500 acres of average wood pulp land. The pulp for paper, the cellulose for rayon and plastics are obtained from the "hurd" or woody refuse of the hemp stalk, left after the fibers have been extracted. These have a cellulose content of 77 to 88%, compared to the 50% average of spruce and pine.

The fiber itself is similar to flax, and will produce silky, white threads, coarse rope fiber, or "tow," according to the curing and machining method used. Greatest trouble with hemp production to date has been getting the fiber out.

>>> From Milwaukee, simultaneously with the announcement of the government's hemp program, cam reports of a new decorticating machine that produces more than 50% long-line (3-5 foot) fiber. Arthur Eckstein, the inventor, claims that the machine is portable, can be operated by one man, and will turn out approximately 400 lbs. of cleaned fiber a day. The company is also developing a large machine for use in hemp processing mills.

Two U.S. soldiers standing guard in front of dozens of pallets of hempseed in a warehouse. Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife. Caption: "All the hempseed available in the U.S. is stacked in this Kentucky warehouse under armed guard. Next year, USDA hopes, there'll be enough to grow 350,000 acres."




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