The EPA received 10 pesticide applications to expand their use on hemp. The 10 requests are the result of the December 2018 Farm Bill provisions that removed hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry-weight basis from the Controlled Substances Act, legalizing hemp for commercial use and production.
“EPA is taking the next step toward registering crop protection tools for hemp in time for use during the 2020 application and growing seasons,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The agency is announcing a 30-day public comment period on 10 existing pesticide product applications for industrial hemp.”
“Given the strong economic forecasts for hemp production in the United States, it comes as no surprise that we are beginning to see pesticide registrants intensify their interests in gaining crop protection approvals for use on hemp,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, at the Hemp Production Field Day at the University of Kentucky.
“With about 1,000 Kentucky growers licensed to grow hemp this year, farmers need every tool in the toolbox to increase yields and protect their crops from harmful pests,” said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.
“My colleagues and I have already identified a number of weeds, insects, and plant diseases that pose a potential threat to economically viable hemp production,” said Dr. Bob Pearce, hemp researcher at the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. “We will work closely with EPA to identify and evaluate best management practices for the use of crop protection agents to help control pests in hemp crops.”
Moving forward, EPA will review, approve or deny applications for use on hemp as the agency would for any other use site.
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