Master Cannabis Grower Medallion, USSR 1970s -- Daily LIFT #923
While the inscription literally translates as "Master Cannabis" grower this medallion award for highly productive Soviet collective farmers was awarded for the production of industrial hemp. The USSR began to greatly expand industrial hemp production in the 1930s and by the 1960s was the largest producer in the world.
From the Economic Geography of the USSR, 1969:
Of the spinning crops. a very important part is played by fibre flax and hemp. Their fibres are used in the textile and hemp industries for the manufacture of linen, ropes, etc. Linseed and hemp-seed oils used in food and in different industries are made from the seeds of these plants. The waste products of the processing of these seeds are fed to cattle.
Fibre flax requires comparatively little heat, namely, a sum total of 950-1,030°C. of plus temperatures for its vegetative period. The crop poorly endures heat and grows best in cloudy weather. It is a moisture-loving plant and a cool and rainy summer offering the best conditions for its growth. To cultivate this crop it is necessary to improve the fertility of the soil. The most favourable soils for fibre flax are light-textured and medium-textured loess-loamy soils.
Owing to their low heat requirements fibre flax crops are distributed over many economic areas of the R.S.F.S.R.—Central (Kalinin, Kostroma, Smolensk and Yaroslavl regions), North-West (Vologda, Novgorod and Pskov regions), Volga-Vyatka (Gorky and Kirov regions), the Urals (Udmurt A.S.S.R. and Perm Region) and the West Siberian (Omsk, Tomsk and Novosibirsk regions) areas. Considerable areas are sown to fibre flax in the Byelorussian S.S.R., the south-west of the Ukrainian S.S.R. and in the Baltic Union republics.
Like fibre flax, hemp is successfully grown in many parts of the country. However, hemp requires more heat and yields better crops in southern areas. The sum total of plus temperatures during the vegetative period ranges from 1,800 to 2.800°C. Like flax, hemp loves moisture; it makes high demands of soils.
Hemp is sown in the Central Chernozem Zone (Orel, Kursk and Voronezh regions), Volga-Vyatka Area (Gorky Region and the Mordovian A.S.S.R.), along the Volga (Penza and Ulyanovsk regions and the Tatar A.S.S.R.), the Ukraine, Byelorussia and other areas. Cultivation of highly-productive Indian hemp started only in Soviet time; it is grown in the south of the Ukrainian S.S.R., the North Caucasus and the Kirghiz S.S.R.
In 1966 fibre flax was sown to an area of 1.4 million hectares. The U.S.S.R. produces most of the world's fibre flax and hemp. The average yield of flax fibre per hectare in 1966 was 3.3 centners. The best farms produce larger crops of flax and hemp fibre and seeds.