Hemp Farming in Humboldt County, Iowa, with a 1941 Farmall Model B Tractor
Brian Wayne Wells
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Hemp plants have been raised for many years. The main marketable product of the hemp plant has been the long tough strands located in the stem of the plant. When correctly processed the strands could be formed into ropes of all sizes.
Historically, ropes are the used by ships of the merchant marine or the navies of the nationsl of the world. Accordingly, within the United States the largest buyer in the rope market has been the United States government which supplies the ropes to the United States Navy. Purchasing of ropes of course, has an effect on the price of hemp. Accordingly, in times of internatyional tensions when the United States government begins a program of naval preparedness, the demand for hemp rises and as a result the price of hemp also rises.
One such time of international tensions was during the late 1930s. At that time the United States government was not only worried about the source of hemp raising keeping up with the demand for ropes, the government also worried about whether the small number of “hemp mills” (or hemp processing plants) across the United States would be able to process enough hemp to keep up with the demand for ropes.
One such small hemp mill was located in Humboldt County, Iowa. This small mill is located in
The rising prices of hemp in the late 1930s caused a number of farmers across the nation to begin raising hemp. They sought to make money on a new cash crop that showed the promise ofhigh prices for the immediate future. One such farmer was our Norway Township farmer who operated a 200 acre farm near Thor, Iowa in Norway Township in Humboldt County, Iowa.
to seek a to made from tradtiovies of the various nationaropes made from hemp have been used by the nally been the largest buyer in the rope market. Thus,