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Joaquin Acosta PharmD, MBA - 11 / Jun / 2020

Hemp Pest Management

Hemp Pest Management

Integrated pest management is a vital component in the proactive holistic approach that is used to control pests, weeds and pathogen diseases. IPM is the best solution to an economic and ecological problem that is related to pesticides. Every climate and region has it's own pests and we'd love to share our knowledge after learning from our hemp farm in Southern New Mexico.

Hemp Pest Management-

Integrated pest management is a vital component in the proactive holistic approach that is used to control pests, weeds and pathogen diseases. IPM is the best solution to an economic and ecological problem that is related to pesticides. In many cases, the process of eradication is being replaced with the coexistence. Based out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, with an agricultural college, New Mexico State University, as a resource, we still ran into our fair share pest issues. Some which ended more reactively than proactively.

Steps involved in Hemp Pest Management

IPM consist of five steps:

a) Identifying or monitoring pests and diseases

It is the first and primary step of the Hemp Pest management process. It involves identifying and monitoring pests and their related diseases for hemp crops. Every season your inspection team or consultant must properly investigate and analyze the pests each crop faces. Big ones: worms, leafhoppers, aphids, and mites. 

b) Monitoring the environment

After identifying and monitor the pest and related diseases, it is important to check what are the major cause of these diseases. Try to use different sampling techniques and check thoroughly the signs of pest and related diseases. Properly monitor the environment to get better outcomes. 

c) Deciding the effective and proper IPM intervention

After monitoring the environment and diseases, decide the effective and proper pest management intervention. Find a list of several methods that help in pest management. The use of beneficial insects, safe pesticides, and physical barriers are examples that farmers use today to protect their crop. We recommend Simpleton’s Key for diagnosing these crop issues.

d) Implement the selected intervention

The next step involves choosing an effective method and implementing it accordingly on hemp crops. Always choose the intervention that is cost-effective but offers you better results within a few days. If you choose ineffective treatment, then you will not have any control over the exponential spread in your hemp crops. So, it will be better to select the best and long-term effective program for pest management process. 

e) Post-intervention re-assessment

After implementing the selected method, it is important to continue to monitor your hemp crops to ensure that it is safe from any more pests or suffers effects like chemical burn. 

Monitoring methods

The monitoring methods are different in design and implementation. The monitoring effort should be properly managed according to the severity of the problem. 

If you want to monitor the hemp diseases, then a regular inspection of hemp plants, soil samples, and insect traps are required. The better the crop, the perfect the better quality in your samples. 

In your logbook, properly record date, time and the location of the crop that underwent damage. If the pests are present, then estimate numbers properly. Recording humidity, time of day and temperature gives you more valuable information moving forward. 

Mark the infested hemp plants with the bright flag or pole so that you can easily relocate them. 

Who identifies the hemp disease problem?

After spending some time with your crop, you will be able to identify outliers. To dial it in further and faster, a plant pathologist and seasoned entomologist who have worked with cannabis or hemp specifically, will identify the problems earlier. Crop consultants, growers, and farmers alike may not always be prepared for the specific problem you're experiencing or will experience. With proper time an preparation, these people can apply diagnostic equipment to diagnose the problem and get you results that help you manage these issues. Thanks again to Brad Lewis at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for your work on hemp farms all across the state of New Mexico, and for being a great resource for our farm just north of Las Cruces.

Verdicts:

Hemp is grown more rapidly in different areas of the United States and is rapidly expanding as a cash crop since the 2018 farm bill. As a new crop, it piques the curiosity of local pests, so it is necessary to protect hemp crops from pest attack. A great method to control the pest is to switch your attack mode and to attack early and often. Pesticides can cause serious harm under human consumption so it is critical to apply pesticides ethically to ensure safety for all forms of ingestion.