Insight from one of our Founding Members Roger Ford:
The latest research from Cambridge University says that hemp is twice as effective as trees in capturing atmospheric carbon, meaning the potential market for hemp as a crop that not only can produce sustainable materials and renewable energy but also for carbon sequestration is potentially better than other crops and trees.
Darshil Shah, senior researcher at the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at Cambridge University, writes that numerous studies suggest that hemp is one of the CO2-to-biomass converters, absorbing between 8 to 15 tons of biomass per hectare, or approximately 4 to 7.5 tons of CO2 per acre, where hemp is grown as a cash crop—dependent upon variety of hemp and method in which it is cultivated. In comparison, forests will typically capture in the range of 2 to 6 tons of carbon per hectare, or 1 to 3 tons per acre, which is also dependent upon type of trees and growing conditions.
Hemp is being recognized for its versatility as an energy or materials crop, with research being centered in many areas of development, from hemp-based sustainable aviation fuel to advanced composites, such as graphene. However, the potential for use of hemp as a fast-growing, versatile crop for the capture of atmospheric carbon is a use not to be discounted, as countries focus on the reduction of emissions. Clearly, hemp has upside potential for this purpose, given its ability to grow in different climates and soils.
At the National Hemp Growers Cooperative, our focus is to provide a profit model for our member growers that maximize their per acre earning potential from their hemp crop. Our model ‘layers’ potential revenue streams for the member growers. Not simply focusing on a single revenue stream, but a layered approach, wherein the grower benefits from an end-use contract but also from layering potential revenue from capture of atmospheric carbon (CO2) and monetizing that aggregated tonnage on the grower’s land, whereby they receive payment for this activity in the carbon trading market. As with any commodity, carbon has value and the NHGC is positioning itself to be the leader in this effort.
With that in mind, the NHGC is partnering with companies and organizations, such as Eureka Energy Corporation and a soon-to-be announced non-profit European organization, on a carbon capture initiative for its member growers that will provide opportunities in this emerging market to use hemp as not only a traditional cash crop but also crop for capturing and sequestering atmospheric carbon (CO2) to create more wealth for the member grower through layering their revenue potential.
Through innovation and a commitment to common-sense environmental stewardship approaches, the NHGC and its partners are leaders in the hemp industry for the benefit of its member growers, providing wealth creation for them while building a more integrated, profitable, and sustainable future for rural communities throughout the United States.