Hemp farming in Humbolt County, Iowa during the Second World War with a 1941 Farmall Model B

Hemp Farming in Humboldt County, Iowa, with a 1941 Farmall Model B Tractor   

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or   current blocks of text will be corrected.

The Hemp plant located in Humboldt County, Iowa.

 

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

A map of the State of Iowa showing the location of Humboldt County in the 99 counties of the state.

 

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.

A Township map of Humboldt County showing the location of Norway Township in the lower right-hand corner of this map and showing the location of the village of Thor as a shaded spot in the middle of Norway Township.

 

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,

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