Exploring IPM Strategies in Southeastern Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Entomology and Plant Pathology
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Due to its numerous uses across various industries, hemp, a flexible and ecological crop, has recently attracted much interest. Farmers and academics have been excitedly examining the potential of hemp for economic growth, environmental sustainability, and medical applications after recent legalization and acceptance. However, hemp is not without problems as it is plagued by a variety of pests that can jeopardize its quality and output. Therefore, effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques must be developed and put into practice to achieve successful and long-term hemp cultivation. Cannabis sativa is a member of the hemp family that has long been grown for its fibrous stems, seeds, and therapeutic properties, including cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD). Hemp has attracted much attention due to its industrial usefulness in textiles, building materials, biofuels, and therapeutic benefits. Additionally, the legalization of hemp farming in many nations and states has created new opportunities for farmers and business owners looking to profit from this developing market. However, hemp farming is not exempt from other crops' difficulties. Pests seriously threaten the health and output of hemp plants, and the lack of a straightforward IPM approach worsens the situation. Arthropods, including aphids, spider mites, caterpillars, and nematodes, along with weeds and fungi, are some of the frequent pests connected to hemp. These pests have the potential to spread illnesses, endanger the overall health of the crop, and directly harm the plants, resulting in lower yields and lower-quality harvests. The traditional pest control method of relying on synthetic pesticides is inappropriate for growing hemp for many reasons. First, regulatory authorities' residual limitations for CBD extracts and other goods derived from hemp frequently call for rigorous restrictions on the use of pesticides. Second, pesticides have complex regulations in hemp. In addition, pesticide resistance is a recurring issue, necessitating the investigation of alternate and environmentally friendly pest control methods. IPM offers a comprehensive and ecologically impressive strategy for pest management in hemp farming. IPM attempts to reduce insect damage while lowering dependency on synthetic pesticides by combining various pest management techniques such as cultural, physical, biological, and chemical treatments. Crop rotation, trap crops, companion planting, mechanical barriers, biological control agents, and targeted pesticide sprays are a few examples of IPM techniques that can be used with hemp. These methods support the overall health of crops and the balance of the ecosystem, in addition to helping manage pests. Hemp offers several industrial benefits, although there are potential pest management issues. Thus, it is imperative to develop proper IPM strategies to overcome these obstacles and guarantee sustainable hemp production. Farmers can reduce pest-related hazards, enhance crop quality and yields, safeguard the environment, and adhere to regulatory requirements by implementing IPM strategies explicitly designed for hemp cultivation. IPM techniques that are appropriate for hemp farming are explored in this research, along with their efficacy, viability, and possible effects on the long-term sustainability of this promising crop. My research explores fertility management and variety selection as cultural control as an integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.