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NewsWeek October 5, 1942 -- BUSINESS LABOR AGRICULTURE Home-made imports. hemp: Part of the cargo on the Mayflower was hemp seed. And, being the raw material for making rope and burlap, it was an important crop in this country all during the sailing-ship era. But about the turn of the century it was replaced by imports of Manila hemp, sisal, and jute from Africa and the Orient.

Long-range planners now are looking to the future even thought present stockpiles will last until about 1944. Already the government has contracted for almost all the Haitian output of sisal, and that little republic is increasing its production. Last week the War Production board approved plans for planting in the United States 300,000 acres of hemp (the only one of the fibers which will grow in this climate) and building 71 processing mills. Plantings will be concentrated in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, with the processing plants in approximately the same areas.

[[two pictures of workers cutting hemp straw - caption reads "War booms the hemp industry: Fresh-cut straw is made into sturdy fibers"]]

This program should assure an adequate supply by the time stocks run out, for hemp is normally only a four-month crop. Farmers like it too, because it helps control weeds, needs no tending until harvest time, and leaves the soil in good condition. It is expensive, however. The seed is high, and it can't be harvested without expensive equipment and experienced workers. And farmers have to have a license to plant the crop; the Department of Internal revenue controls the seed, because hemp is also the source of the narcotic marijuana.

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