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Newsgroups: alt.drugs
From: (/dev/high)
Subject: Earth Journal, Part 9
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1993 20:50:26 GMT

===================Letters to EARTH JOURNAL=======================

Kenaf is Better than Hemp

I read that you are going to be doing a story on hemp next issue. I
hope you will let your readers know they don't have to wait out a long
legal battle for tree-free products.

One acre of kenaf produces up to 11 tons of usable fiber per year,
while an acre of forest requires 20-30 years to produce only 4 or 5
tons of usable fiber. Kenaf fiber also has better strength and
performance characteristics than wood fiber. It has a lower lignin
content, so kenaf is whiter than wood and requires fewer chemicals and
less energy to process.

Kenaf paper and envelopes are available from Earth Care Paper Company.
Please stop beating a dead horse if this product fills the same need.

[signed, someone from Long Beach]

EJ Note: Excellent point, [person]. Hemp (cannabis) produces 3 to 6
tons of usable fiber per year, which makes it many times better than
wood but not as good as kenaf for paper. Both hemp and kenaf are hardy
annual plants requiring minimal water, fertilizer or pesticides. Both
fibers are much better suited for paper than wood fiber.

However, hemp has been in use much longer and currently has many more
applications than kenaf. Hemp replaces oil as well as trees, and
varieties of cannabis have also been used throughout history for
medicinal and relaxation purposes.

Hemp is indeed an environmental and holistic health issue, but useful
as it is, hemp is still a no-no. Farmers could plant today and harvest
a cash kenaf crop next fall, and manufacturers could be mass producing
kenaf products in three years. We've got the kenaf story on page 14,
and thank you for pointing it out to us. (But [person], the only thing
we beat at Earth Journal is swords into plowshares and occasional
deadline - never horses, dead or otherwise!)

=======================kenaf article================================

Facts About Kenaf Paper

A new printing and writing paper made from the fibrous kenaf plant is
being offered in the United States for the first time. Kenaf has great
potential for paper production and offers environmental advantages over
paper from trees.

One acre of kenaf produces 7 to 11 tons of usable fiber in a single
growing season. In contrast, an acre of forest requires 20 to 30 years
to produce 4 to 5 tons of usable fiber. It's easy to see the
tremendous potential of kenaf as an alternative to tree pulp. USDA
kenaf expert Daniel Kugler predicts that kenaf will be widely used to
make paper, and that it represents a promising cash crop for American

In California, Texas and Louisiana, 3,200 acres of kenaf were grown in
1992, most of which was used for animal bedding and feed. It is
estimated that growing kenaf on 5,000 acres can produce enough pulp to
supply a paper plant having a capacity of 200 tons per day. Many of
the facilities that now process yellow pine can be converted to
accommodate kenaf. Over 20 years, one acre of farmland can produce 10
to 20 times the amount of fiber that one acre of yellow pine can

Various reports suggest that the energy requirements for producing
pulp from kenaf are about 20 percent less than those for wood pulp,
mostly due to the lower lignin content of kenaf. Because the kenaf
fibers are naturally whiter than tree pulp, less bleaching is required
to create a bright sheet. The first production run of Earth Care's
kenaf paper was bleached with sodium hypochlorite. However, subsequent
runs will be bleached with hydrogen peroxide, an environmentally-safe
bleaching agent that does not create dioxin.

Kenaf is considered a hardy plant that requires a minimum of
fertilizers, pesticides and water in comparison to conventional row
crops. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides used in large-scale farming
cause run-off pollution in rivers, lakes, estuaries, oceans and
underground water. All insecticides have damaging environmental
consequences. Large-scale kenaf plantations would essentially be grown
like corn or soybeans. Further kenaf production should be directed
towards ecologically sustainable farming techniques. A recent report
from the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the current use
of chemical fertilizers and insecticides does not necessarily result
in better crop yields than does the use of organic farming methods.
Currently the environmental cost from pesticide use alone is about $1
billion annually.

In 1960, the USDA surveyed more than 500 plants and selected kenaf as
the most promising source of "tree-free" newsprint. In 1970, kenaf
newsprint produced in International Paper Company's mill in Pine
Bluff, Arkansas, was successfully used by six U.S. newspapers. Again
in 1987, a Canadian mill produced 13 rolls of kenaf newsprint which
were used by four U.S. newspapers to print experimental issues. They
found that kenaf newprint made for stronger, brighter and cleaner
pages than standard pine paper.

Kenaf paper is completely new to the American marketplace. Earth
Care's kenaf paper is an 18# bond suitable for copiers, offset presses
and laser printers. Because the fibers of the kenaf plant are longer
and stronger than tree fiber, kenaf paper is quite stiff and bulky for
its basis weight and this helpfs it perform well in high-speed sheet-
feeding copy and press machines. Kenaf also creates less fiber dust in
copy machines due to its fiber strength. Kenaf fibers can also be
mixed with waste paper to enhance the performance characteristics and
strength of recycled paper. Kenaf paper should be recycled with white
ledger in office recycling program.


In the last three years, the timber industry cut down almost three
million acres of national forests; forests that took hundreds of years
to mature. Almost two-thirds of this forestland was old-growth. One-
half to two-thirds of the cut ended up as pulp. They continue to
clearcut the remaining five percent of our native forests, destroying
irreplaceable ecosystems in the process. The U.S. and other world
governments must legislate absolute restrictions on the clearcutting
of any ancient forests.

Our country needs to begin cultivating kenaf now to meet newsprint,
printing paper, and corrugated container pulp needs. Kenaf is a fiber
source that requires a minimum of input and is renewable annually.
Adequate research has been done on kenaf and the technology is in
place to have manufacturers begin the investments necessary to produce
kenaf paper products on a mass scale. Let's get it done! For details,

International Kenaf Association
PO Box 7, Ladonia, TX 75449

Kenaf International, Ltd.
120 E. Jay Avenue, McAllen, Tx 78504

KP Products, PO Box 4795
Albuquerque, NM 87196-4795

Earch Care Paper Company
PO Box 7070, Madison, WI 53707

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From: Paul Stanford 
Newsgroups: talk.politics.drugs
Date: 04 Jun 93 23:04 PDT
Subject: Hemp beats kenaf!
Message-ID: <>

Topic 77        Earth Journal, Part 9        Response  3 of  3
alt.drugs        10:34 pm  Jun  4, 1993
The info on hep vs. kenaf is wrong. Hemp produces two types of fiber,
hemp bast and hemp hurds. Per acre annually hemp produces 4-9 m. tons of
bast fiber and 12-40 m. tons of hurd fiber; more than twice as much as kenaf.
A recent Dutch study concluded that hemp fiber production is cheaper, better
ecologically and that we wouldn't be talking about kenef if hemp weren't
prohibited. Hemp was prohibited to protect the wood-pulp paper, synthetic
fiber, and petro-chemical industries, which are capital intensive(lots of $)
while hemp fiber, oil, and protien production are, by their nature, 
decentralized and have low capital entry requirements.
        Earth Care Paper of Madison, WI went out of business last month.