The ecology of hemp production relative to alternative break crops.
Although hemp has many environmental benefits, little is known about its potential for farmland wildlife conservation, relative to other break crops. Hemp has an ability to suppress weeds and may also reduce invertebrate and associated bird numbers. We compared weed, invertebrate and bird abundance in one field of rape, beans and hemp at each of two sites in Leicestershire. The conservation potential of hemp is comparable to, or only slightly below that of the other break crops. The many other environmental benefits associated with hemp highlight the need to consider the wide range of ecosystem services associated with individual crops.