PurePower joins pioneers of organic, regenerative agriculture in hemp research.
PurePower is getting behind organic hemp research in a big way, with our recent sponsorship of Rodale Institute’s industrial hemp initiative. Over the course of a four-year trial, Rodale’s team is exploring hemp’s powerful potential to heal soil and support farmers.
Rodale Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leading organic farming institution dedicated to research, farmer training and consumer education of organic agriculture. Located in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the organization collaborates with farmers, state and federal agricultural groups and science peers in testing new approaches to organic and regenerative agriculture.
Some of the key goals of Rodale’s hemp initiative are to explore the plant’s potential to suppress weeds without chemicals, add diversity to crop rotations, and boost farmers’ bottom lines.
Rodale’s dedication to healthy farming meshes perfectly with what we believe here at PurePower, which is that optimal human health starts in the soil with natural, organic ingredients. Organic hemp extract, especially, packs a slew of health benefits for the human mind and body, and for athletes in particular, including CBD and a host of other nutrient-rich cannabinoids, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, A, and E, minerals, and fiber.
The full-spectrum hemp used by PurePower is grown sustainably and without the use of herbicides and pesticides. The farmers at Rodale Institute promote this ideal through organic crop management. The Institute leads the oldest and longest-running study comparing conventional and organic field crops. Its farming systems trial is in its 39th year, and has been cited in journals and educational sources as proof that organic operations are viable and profitable compared to farming with synthetic herbicides and pesticides (which negatively impact environmental and human health).
Hemp is considered a cover crop, and an important factor in adding nutrients and diversity back into the soil as a part of organic crop rotation with other small grains and row crops. Even more promising, though, is the advantages that industrial hemp offers to the farmers themselves, both as a natural tool for weed management, and as a means of entry into markets that farmers wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
“Being able to control weeds typically is one of the biggest hurdles for conventional farmers out there to move into the transitioning process to organic,” says Ross Duffield, Farm Manager at Rodale Institute. Hemp helps farmers overcome that hurdle by aiding in the transition process and naturally smothering weeds in the meantime. This is good news for human health because natural weed suppression will reduce the amount of toxic chemicals (for example, RoundUp) currently put on the soil in ways that harm the soil and the human gut biome.
Farmers also stand to gain an even bigger advantage when you think about the opportunities for income diversification through hemp. Hemp is quickly becoming an alternative for plastics and other synthetics, as well as a main ingredient in thousands of consumer products ranging from sunglasses to nano-sheets. “The industrial hemp initiative is not only to improve the institute’s soil,” Duffield explains, “but to improve the chances of farmers to have a good living.”
While Pennsylvania was once a traditional producer of hemp, it has now been close to 80 years since hemp was grown in the state. But the tide is changing, as the low-maintenance nature of the crop and its many added benefits — both to farmers and human well-being — begins to garner attention. In fact, hemp was recently fully legalized in the U.S. as part of the 2018 Farm Bill and it is expected that farmers across the U.S. will now start growing lots and lots more hemp.
According to the Institute, “hemp is also versatile in the market, with thousands of uses for its seed, oil, and fiber. Hemp can be used to make textiles, building material, livestock bedding, paper products, bioplastics, and more. It is stronger and more durable than cotton, yet requires less space and less water to grow.”
Duffield believes that the Institute’s role as educator and early adopter gives farmers the access and information they need before diving in, and that it is only a matter of time before hemp finds its way back into the farming rotation in Pennsylvania, and the United States as a whole. “There’s no doubt we’re going to grow this crop. It’s what we’re going to do with it and where is the infrastructure coming from to be able to process and use it efficiently down the line, I think that’s really the next step.”
Our mission at PurePower is to help enhance the well-being of our customers and our environment, and hemp plays a big part in that. That’s why we’re honored and delighted to be supporting the Institute, and the industrial hemp initiative in particular, and we’re looking forward to sharing the Institute’s results as the organic hemp trial progresses.
Visit Rodale Institute’s website for more information on its Industrial Hemp Variety Trial and learn about the preliminary results that have been drawn from the project so far.