EPA Approves 10 Pesticides for Hemp Cultivation
Lealnard | Adobe Stock

EPA Approves 10 Pesticides for Hemp Cultivation

The approval marks a critical step for hemp growers, providing the first federal guidance on which treatments they can use for their crops.

Subscribe
January 10, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved its first round of pesticides that can be used for hemp cultivation.

The approval marks a critical step for hemp growers, providing the first federal guidance on which treatments they can use for their crops.

Of the ten approved pesticides, nine are biopesticides and one is a conventional pesticide. Biopesticides are derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. Conventional pesticides are those that have active ingredients other than biological pesticides and antimicrobial pesticides, and they are generally produced synthetically.

The EPA said in a press release that it wanted to act on the pesticide applications quickly to give growers certainty for 2020 spraying season and allow them to make timely purchasing decisions. 

“With common-sense actions, we are protecting the health of our nation and ensuring that crops such as corn, sorghum, sugar cane and hemp can be protected against a broad spectrum of weeds and pests,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in the press release. “Under the Trump Administration, the EPA is committed to providing much-needed certainty to farmers and ranchers across the country who rely on crop protection tools to ensure a global supply of products, while driving economic growth in agricultural communities across America.”

To get the agency's approval, the pesticides go through ecological, human health and cumulative risk assessments.

The following pesticides are approved for use on hemp:

Biopesticides

  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-5. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide. 

  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-7. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide. 

  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-8. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide. 

  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-11. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredient: Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, and Fungicide. 

  • EPA Registration Number: 84059-3. Applicant: Marrone Bio Innovations, D/B/A Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. Active ingredient: Extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis. Product type: Fungicide and Fungistat. 

  • EPA Registration Number: 84059-28. Applicant: Marrone Bio Innovations, D/B/A Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. Active ingredient: Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain F727. Product type: Fungicide. 

  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-1. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredients: Soybean Oil, Garlic Oil, and Capsicum Oleoresin Extract. Product type: Insecticide and Repellent. 

  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-3. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747. Product type: Fungicide and Bactericide. 

  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-4. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Azadirachtin. Product type: Insect Growth Regulator and Repellent. 

Conventional Pesticides

  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-2. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Potassium Salts of Fatty Acids. Product type: Insecticide, Fungicide, and Miticide. 

Notably, all of the pesticides except the General Hydroponics biopesticide with soybean oil, garlic oil and capsicum oleoresin extract (EPA Registration Number 91865-1) are approved for organic growing.

Some states, like Colorado and Kentucky, have already published their own set of approved pesticides for hemp cultivation. Meanwhile, states like Florida and California have opted to make testing for pesticides a mandatory component of their state plans regulating the industry.

“I’m pleased to hear of the EPA’s approval of 10 pesticides for use on industrial hemp. Since the Farm Bill was signed into law last year, Kentucky hemp farmers have been asking for safe and effective crop protection agents that meet the demands of the booming hemp industry,” said Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) in the press release. “These approvals will allow for the use of 10 different pesticides for the 2020 growing season, which will be of great benefit for Kentucky hemp farmers. We know the value of hemp in Kentucky, and I will continue to fight for and support all efforts to keep this industry moving forward.”

As EPA receives additional applications to amend product labels to add use on hemp, the agency says it will process those applications on an ongoing basis and update its list. 

These initial ten pesticides took months to approve, with the EPA collecting public comments on them since August.

“NASDA thanks the EPA for taking the first step to provide crop protection for U.S. hemp farmers. Collaboration will be key as we work to provide a full tool box of solutions, including biopesticides, to the emerging hemp industry,” said National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) CEO Barbara P. Glenn in the press release.