A local hemp farm is encouraging farmers to consider using alternatives instead of using plastic when growing hemp. “The plastic is a major concern, especially as the hemp industry continues to grow. There’s a lot of plastic being used in agriculture in general but this isn’t the only industry that uses the row cover plastics,” Amy Parscal, CEO of Cascade Hemp Collective, said.
A viewer sent in videos to KTVL on Wednesday which he described as a hemp farm burning the stems which he said had plastic on them.
According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, it is illegal to burn plastic anytime or anywhere in Oregon.
“That is definitely not something we would ever advise for, it’s a major air pollution issue as well,” Parscal said.
Parscal said Cascade Hemp Collective is encouraging farmers to stop using plastic altogether.
“We experimented this year with using organic rice straws as a mulch to help with the moisture retention of the soil and the weed suppression with the weeds and grass growing up out of the soil,” Parscal said.
She said she gets the organic rice straws from a local farmer who gets them from California. Parscal mentioned that although this might not be feasible for every hemp farmer, there are still other alternatives such as using different practices and biodegradable plastics.
“As hemp farmers, we’re kind of at the forefront of this agricultural revolution, we’re really trying to change the way the world sees this particular plant and what we can do and our responsibility to the earth and what it can do to help us with all sorts of other environmentally damaging practices. We just need to be conscious of that and what we’re doing is impacting the future,” Parscal said.