Staying Ahead of Pests with Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Integrated Pest Management Begins With Preventative Maintenance.
As your hemp plants go through their beginning stages, keeping a clean growing environment is the best type of Integrated pest management and prevention. Spraying hemp plants routinely with alternating daily applications of soaps, citric acids, essential oils, sulfur, and activated microbial foliar tea applications, through the vegetative stage, will reduce the populations of harmful pests, creating an advantageous space to introduce beneficial insects to your hemp in a more timely manner. Consistent pest-scouting is crucial in understanding what measures need to be taken. Companion planting and high humic acid applications can also help draw and distract pests away from your hemp crop.
Harmful Pests that need to be quickly identified using a 60x-100x microscope or hand lens loop:
- Russet Mites (Video on How To Identify Russet Mites from Certified Kind)
- Broad Mites
- Spider Mites
- Root Aphids
Russet mites are important to identify right away because they feed off sap from the hemp plant, slowly robbing it of nutrients. This in turn stunts the plant's growth, affecting its ability to flower come harvest time. Scouting for Russet Mites should start as soon as your plant has its first sets of leaves or you pick up your plants from a nursery. If your fan leaves start to curl this could be an indication of russet mites and caution should be taken.
With all pests it's important to have a proactive approach to keeping them at bay. This can be achieved from consistent scouting and keeping your grow environment clean.
Some of our favorite suggested products for IPM Management:
Plant Therapy by Lost Coast Plant was designed to suffocate and dehydrate on contact. It is important to thoroughly saturate your infested plants with this IPM product. If the product does not contact the insect it can't suffocate or dehydrate it. We like this product for insect plant management because it can be used every day, and contains alcohol, citric acid, essential oils and potassium salts acting as surfactant and desiccant on pests.
OMRI Certified DeBug® contains 70% Neem Oil, Fats, and Glyceridic Oils of Margosa (Neem seed kernels). Neem has shown to be effective at deterring pests from eating CBD plants, disrupting pest life cycles and growth, and works well in rotation with other products and beneficial insects. Avoid applying during high-heat, or direct sun time periods, or towards the last three weeks of flower. Neem could cause an adverse effect on your plant's terpene profile during the later flowering stage.
OMRI Certified PyGanic contains Pyrethrins that act as a direct contact knock-down formula for hard to control for a broad-spectrum of pests. Use this product in rotation with Neem products for a more robust solution to preventative maintenance, or even infestation level solutions.
Before using any products on your hemp crop, review the label and safety guidelines provided. When to spray, how to spray and precautions are all important information a grower must understand before using any product on your plant. The more prevention a grower can apply before the flowering stage of your crop, the less likely contaminants and residues will adhere to flower material that is intended to be ingested by humans. Currently, there are states that have more strict guidelines on what is allowed in their state-operated Cannabis programs. Their guidelines come from analytical testing of the final product before sold to consumers. Some products might even require you to have a state applicator license before you are allowed to use the product on a crop. Check with your state and local regulators for guidelines and requirements.
If you have any questions on integrated pest management or the supplies and products necessary for you or your customers to implement proper pest control, don’t hesitate to reach out to Canvast Supply Co. to learn more about what we can do to fit your unique pest control needs. If you’re interested, we can give you a detailed rundown of our industry-tested farming equipment, planning resources, post-harvest solutions, and, of course, supplies that have left individuals and businesses alike more than satisfied.