By Marguerite Bolt and Amanda Skidmore, Ph.D.
Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a novel crop recently legalized for commercial production in the United States via the 2018 Farm Bill. Reasons for hemp production can be separated into three different categories: grain, fiber, and the compound cannabidiol (CBD). Each production system needs to be evaluated to decide which pests will require management strategies to keep damage below economic thresholds.
In particular, one important need is to determine if insect feeding can increase tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) production, which is a very real concern, because the THC content in a hemp crop must remain below a threshold set at 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis.
As expected with a new crop, gaps exist in the literature surrounding all aspects of hemp production. Our colleagues in this field recognized the need for an updated synopsis of arthropod pests that have been observed on hemp during various research trials. A group led by Whitney Cranshaw, Ph.D., professor and extension specialist at Colorado State University, with colleagues at CSU, Virginia Tech, the University of Vermont, and the University of Tennessee, have assembled such a profile, published last week in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management.
Integrated pest management (IPM) plans for pests of hemp are st