Our environment! It’s an important thing to all of us here in Southwest Colorado, water being one of the most important aspects of our region.
We are rich in water, however, as weather patterns continue to change, we find ourselves existing in drought conditions much of the time.
Food grows where water flows! Therefore, water conservation is imperative. Dove Creek was once named the “Bean Capital of the World,” and hay was once a good crop for our economy in Montezuma County.
But times have changed. Hemp passed in the 2014 Farm Bill, giving our state an opportunity to add another crop (understand that hemp is not marijuana). This crop requires little water (12 inches of water per season/acre). Alfalfa and grass require more (about 48 inches and 36 inches, respectively). Alfalfa requires about 4 to 6 inches of water for each ton of dry hay produced. And grass requires only slightly less. In many alfalfa- and grass-growing areas, water is the most limiting factor, not to mention, the end product is less lucrative than it used to be.
As we encounter a dryer climate, why not consider adding hemp as a new crop? There are 25,000 products made from hemp, including agricultural, automotive, construction, cosmetic, food and beverage, furniture, paper and textile products.
With such a wide variety of uses, hemp is highly valuable with much greater returns per ton of product.
Let’s be proactive. Let’s grow Hemp!