With many farmers facing pest problems last year, there has been an urgent need in the sector to push through pesticides that are approved to be used on hemp. In response to this need, the Environmental Protection Agency has now approved 10 different pesticides that can be used in industrial hemp applications. There are nine biopesticides that have been approved and one conventional pesticide product.
Of the biopesticides approved, four of them are produced by Argo Logistic Systems Inc. and contain neem oil. Hawthorne Hydroponics produces three of them, and the conventional pesticide which contains potassium salts from fatty acids. Marrone Bio Innovations makes two which are also fungicides.
The EPA approved these companies to add hemp to their labels as a crop they are approved for use on. These are the first pesticides to be approved, but as the agency continues to get more applications, it will process them and update its list of approved pesticides, according to a press release.
The process to get these substances approved started in October when the National Industrial Hemp Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation started lobbying the EPA to approve these 10 pesticides for hemp production. Since the products were already approved for use on other crops, the agency did not have to seek public comment before making a ruling. The fact that each of the pesticides contain active ingredients that the EPA has already determined leaves residues that are safe under any reasonable foreseeable circumstances.
The Hemp Council and Farm Bureau had no problem with the lack of public comment, and these organizations support the conclusion that there is no need for public notification for registering pesticides in the future if the products are already approved for similar applications. These products are essential tools to help protect crops in the field in future harvests. Arizona and California are working to determine safe pesticides for use on recreational marijuana, but will not be looking to the EPA for approval at this time since that crop is still federally illegal.