South Carolina regulators clear pesticides for hemp production

Hemp farmers in South Carolina now have temporary access to an arsenal of pesticides for the 2019 production season after state regulators approved a list of products suitable for hemp cultivation.

The move eliminates a hurdle farmers have faced since the crop was cleared for production in the state earlier this year.

Regulators from the South Carolina Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) said they didn’t want to leave hemp farmers without tools to help them grow the valuable crop.

Farmers were already reporting damage from cutworms, the agency noted.

The measure is a temporary solution until federal regulations are created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the 2018 Farm Bill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not registered any pesticides labeled specifically for hemp.

The approved pesticides were first adopted for hemp production in Washington state, and all are considered minimum-risk pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Clemson Extension Service agents are distributing the list to the 114 hemp farmers registered to produce hemp in the state this year, The Newsstand of Clemson University reported.