What Pesticides Can I Apply to My Industrial Hemp in NC?
There are no EPA registered pesticides or herbicides for hemp. That means that MOST pesticides that can be used on other crops cannot be used on industrial hemp. For the EPA definition of what is classified as a pesticide and what is not, please read this EPA document on “What is a Pesticide” (written in easy to understand language, I promise).
There are, however, some minimum risk pesticides that do not have to be registered with the EPA and are regulated on a state level. Here is a link to the EPA Minimum Risk Pesticide page. A company can apply to register a minimum risk pesticide for use on industrial hemp within a particular state.
In August 2018, the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pesticide Division provided us with this guidance on minimum risk pesticides approved for use on industrial hemp in NC: 25b pesticides that are labeled for industrial hemp can be used in North Carolina. In addition, 25b pesticides labeled broadly enough that industrial hemp can be considered to be covered by the label can also be used in North Carolina. Since some of the by-products of industrial hemp may end up in consumable products, the ingredients in the 25b products must be approved for application to food crops and the 25b products must be labeled for application to food crops. But, keep in mind, if there is language on the label that would in some way prohibit application to industrial hemp, the label language supersedes our comments above. The EPA also dictates which inert ingredients can be in the 25b products and not all of them are approved for food use. Here is the link to the minimum risk pesticide info. Click on “Condition 2” to see links to the inert information. Growers should double-check with the manufacturers of the 25b products they are interested to confirm that the all the ingredients are approved for food use.
Pesticide labels can change over time which can make a once acceptable product no longer usable. Also, acceptable new products may be introduced at any time. Due to this, NCDA&CS will not be developing a list of products to choose from.
We hope the information above will help you with your selection of appropriate pesticides for use on industrial hemp in North Carolina. (information provided by Lee Davis, Pesticide Registration Manager, NCDA&CS).
UPDATE on 9/17/2018: Two Brandt products, Aleo and Ecotec Plus are minimum risk “25b products” registered for use in North Carolina for 2018. Aleo is a fungicide and Ecotec Plus is an insecticide. Before applying one of these products to industrial hemp, it is the responsibility of the user to read the label and determine/interpret if the product is labeled broadly enough that industrial hemp can be considered to be covered by that label. I realize that this is not the definitive answer that people are accustomed to receiving from Extension but in the case of industrial hemp, there are many “gray areas” that we just don’t have definitive answers and guidance for. As the legal issues pertaining to industrial hemp are addressed on the state and national level, we will update the information for our growers.
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