by Bob Lawrason
Business as usual? No way Jose! In light of our changing world we need to change the way we look at things and change our operating basis. A recent report stated that 74% of the cotton acres in Texas are not being planted. Some of the factors that contributed to this over the years are mono crop farming of cotton resulting in degraded soil, this brought about a grading of cotton and sliding scale of price, water and other costs tipped the scale to a non-profitable scenario. This has left an awful lot of acres not being used, exposed to erosion, and dips in local economies.
Can kenaf be helpful in turning things around? Well kenaf can help in remediating soil that has leftover chemicals used in the previous years of cotton farmland. The fibers of kenaf have been used as a blend with cotton, wool, alpaca etc. This could help the previous cotton buyers in the textile business meet thier supply needs. Housing and energy are in demand as populations grow, people move to new locations and sustainable housing is being sought after. The hurd (wood part of the kenaf plant) can be used to make kenafcrete with insulating qualities that can help save on energy costs.
Kenaf Partners USA is looking at plans now to grow kenaf in Texas, process it and make the fibers available to buyers in the textile industry and build 30-40 kenafcrete houses a year starting in 2023.
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