Farming groups urge speedy pesticide approval for hemp

National hemp and farming associations are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to hurry up and decide pesticide applications for hemp production.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Industrial Hemp Council asked the EPA to promptly approve the 10 applications to add hemp to the labels of currently registered pesticide products.

The groups also asked the agency in a public letter to approve additional applications to expand the range of approved products and so that farmers have legal options for hemp pest control in the 2020 planting season and beyond.

“For hemp to reach its full potential, it is essential that EPA take a leadership role” in the kinds of pesticides used on hemp, the groups wrote in the letter.

In August, federal pesticide regulators said they would begin reviewing products for use on hemp, a major step toward making the newly legal crop a national commodity.

The 30-day public comment period ended Sept. 23.