Industrial hemp was once an important crop in Wisconsin, putting the state on the map of Hemp History.
In discussions about agriculture, the focus is usually on food. Fibre crops are often overlooked, but they are actually a significant part of the agricultural history in the U.S., and they have the potential of benefiting farmers in the future.
Cotton takes first place in the U.S. as the highest profit-generating fibre crop, placing the U.S. as the world’s third largest cotton producer, surpassed by China and India.
Cotton was introduced to the U.S. by the first explorers who entered the land, and it quickly became a thriving industry. But the industry suffered when synthetic fibres hit the market.
The other fibre crop with significant history in the U.S. is hemp. Although it stems from the same family as marijuana, it is grown for its fibrous stalk, not for its THC content.
Hemp could very well be the oldest known fibre-producing crop, dating back 4,000 years in China. Similar to cotton, it was brought to the U.S. by early pioneers.
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