Australian industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) is largely grown for seed (cereals, baking, health bars), seed for oil and fibre (textiles, paper, rope, fuel), and herd for building products. Seed production accounts for 95% of all hemp crops. In 2020, there were about 2,000 ha of hemp crops in Australia, yielding 2,000 t per annum for grain and 100 t for fibre. As this is an emerging crop, the time is ripe to identify crop protection options that could have a significant impact on the Australian industry and support growth potential.
The development of an Industrial Hemp Pesticide Review and Evaluation Program (PREP) is a vital step to prioritise alternative or new fungicide, insecticide and herbicide options for the industry to trial. Where possible, any new pesticides identified will have the benefit of: integrated pest management (IPM) compatibility; improved scope for resistance management; sound biological profile; and residue and trade acceptance domestically.
This Industrial Hemp PREP is the result of wide-ranging research and engagement across the Australian industrial hemp industry, and pulls together the prioritisation of potential current and future pesticide requirements to protect hemp crops from diseases, insects and weeds.