Hemp as a Carbon Sink

There is no denying that hemp is a miracle plant. Whether you grow hemp for CBD flowers or industrial purposes, there are near endless uses for the crop. To illustrate, today’s hemp-derived CBD market features endless products — for both people and pets. In like fashion, we have discovered amazing applications for industrial hemp. Fiber and seeds from industrial hemp are used to make lumber, rope, textiles, food, fuel, and more.

It seems the more we discover about the hemp species, the more uses we find for it. Amazingly, forward-looking farmers are using hemp to help curb global warming. The primary cause of global warming is the greenhouse effect, which is an atmospheric imbalance intimately tied to excessive carbon emissions. Scientists and farmers are working together in developing a practice known as “carbon farming.” With this practice, farmers plant crops with a strategic intention to remove carbon from the atmosphere and return it to the soil.

Hemp is being grown with carbon farming practices. In doing so, hemp farmers are fusing methods of sustainable agriculture with those that help reduce global warming. As people continue to develop procedures for protecting the planet, hemp carbon farming offers an exciting glimpse into new possibilities.

Global Warming, Fossil Fuels, and Carbon

Climate change is one of the primary topics of discussion for many popular political debates. While most people are aware that global warming is a threat, many lack awareness on how to take action against the ever-evolving problem. Even more, most people don’t quite understand how the earth regulates carbon levels in the atmosphere.

Global warming occurs when excess carbon dioxide (CO2) is pumped into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. When there is more CO2 in the atmosphere than can be accommodated for in nature, it causes problems. Namely, as the CO2 gets trapped in the atmosphere, it hinders the ability of the sun’s heat to escape efficiently. Within the natural order of the earth, even incremental changes to the atmosphere can have detrimental effects.

Earth regulates its own carbon levels in a process known as the “carbon cycle.” In this dynamic, trees and plants pull CO2 out of the atmosphere and deposit it into the soil. According to National Geographic, “Ideally, the carbon cycle would keep Earth’s carbon concentrations in balance, moving the carbon from place to place and keeping atmospheric carbon dioxide levels steady. However, the carbon cycle is changing because of human activity.”

Eco-conscious farmers and scientists have developed new methods of farming that can help support the natural world in removing excess carbon from the atmosphere.

What is Carbon Farming?

Scientists, farmers, and climatologists are working together to create the carbon farming industry. Carbon farming is the application of agricultural methods that seek to reduce the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere. Not only is this practice helpful for global warming, but is also great for growing crops.

Many traditional agricultural practices are not conscious of the earth’s carbon cycle. To this end, activities like driving tractors and plowing fields release a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. They do this by stirring up soil and allowing carbon to oxidize. The burning of fossil fuels in the diesel engines of farm equipment also contributes to this process.

Carbon farmers take very specific steps to reduce the amount of carbon that their farms release into the atmosphere. These methods include no-till soil growing, livestock rotation, and the use of ground coverings such as mulch and plastic. Interestingly, by eliminating emissions in their own operations, carbon farmers help reduce the overall ambient CO2 in the atmosphere. In turn, they help lessen the impact of global warming. This is a very exciting prospect for hemp carbon farming.

What is a Carbon Sink?

In nature, carbon sinks are ecosystems that “absorb more carbon than they release.” Needless to say, carbon sinks are a key component in the carbon cycle. It is precisely these areas that carbon farmers seek to mimic in their operations.

Plant and tree species are the most important element in carbon sinks. As such, plants are perhaps the most critical element in the entire carbon cycle. Hemp crops fit nicely into current carbon sink models. Plants like hemp remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. In essence, they help tip the scales of the carbon cycle to a place where land removes carbon from the atmosphere, instead of contributing to excess CO2.

It’s worth noting that the ocean is also a massive carbon sink. The seas function as carbon sinks as they trap and store large amounts of carbon that would otherwise remain in the atmosphere.

Hemp as a Carbon Sink

Hemp carbon farms are some of the most efficient carbon sinks on earth. Amazingly, hemp carbon dioxide absorption is more efficient per acre than any other plant or tree species known to man. When combined with modern carbon farming techniques, hemp is one of the most effective weapons we have against global warming.

One of the more interesting things about hemp has to do with how the plants retain carbon after it is sequestered from the atmosphere. Interestingly, when hemp conducts photosynthesis, the carbon that plants pull from the atmosphere permanently bonds to the fibers within the plants. Unless the hemp is burned or composted, the sequestered carbon remains in the hemp fibers permanently. In this way, hemp carbon sequestration helps keep excess CO2 out of the atmosphere.

With so many environmental benefits in hemp carbon farming, experts hope that it will help lead the charge against climate change. Hemp is revolutionizing our understanding of regenerative farming, while also lessening our dependency on limited natural resources, such as trees. Interestingly, this once illegal plant shows great promise in helping save the planet.

Contact High Grade Hemp Seed

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are honored to spread the message about the role of hemp in carbon farming. If you have questions about industrial hemp or CBD hemp, please Contact Us today.