As more states continue to allow the cultivation of hemp for fiber, seed, flower and oil, growers are learning more about the challenges of this versatile crop.
As of this writing, only some states have published lists of allowable materials to be used in hemp production. If you have questions about whether a given material is allowed in your state check with your local Department of Agriculture. As a general guide, refer to the EPA’s list of minimum risk pesticides - also known as 25 (b) pesticides. Typically, materials that are not EPA registered and have ingredients that are labeled for use on food crops are considered eligible for use on hemp. Ultimately, growers should check with the processor(s) of their crop prior to applying any material.
Fertile, living soil is the foundation of pest and disease management. Healthy plants are more resilient as well as more productive. Starting with high-quality, virus-free planting stock (or seed) and well-balanced, biologically active soil is the first step towards a successful crop.
As a general principle, preventative treatment is advised for managing fungal diseases. Understanding the life-cycle of a pathogen as well as the local disease pressure will help a grower ensure a clean crop. As always, good air-flow and sunlight are the best cultural controls for fungal pathogens.
Insect pressures will vary annually. We recommend frequent scouting and only treating for insects and/or mites when they are found to be present on the crop. Timely treatment at the beginning of a pest outbreak can keep an infestation from impacting the crop.