Pubdate: 1900 Source: 1899 Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture Author: James Wilson, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Page: 64
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY - HEMP
Our imports of hemp fiber for the past five years have averaged in value $678,475 annually, coming chiefly from Italy and southern Russia. This hemp is worth about 7 cents per pound and is used principally in the manufacture of carpet warps. In addition, we import an unknown but doubtless large amount of manufactured hemp in the form of the cheaper grades of linen. The domestic product of hemp reported by the last census, at a valuation of 3 cents per pound, was worth $690,660 and was grown chiefly in Kentucky. This hemp is used principally in place of jute butts for cordage purposes. The Kentucky hemp producers grow a short plant in small areas with shallow plowing and little or no fertilizing. The crop is reaped and broken by hand, and the fiber is extracted by the process of dew retting. In addition to these heavy charges, an annual rental, averaging probably $10 per acre, is ordinarily paid for the land. There is a reasonable prospect of establishing an extensive hemp industry in the United States on new lines, involving the use of either a taller variety or two crops of the short variety, growing the crop on large areas of cheap land, plowing deep, putting on the necessary fertilizers, reaping and breaking by machinery, and using the process of water retting.