"The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation in the U.S. within a regulatory framework implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In Florida, hemp can be cultivated indoors and outdoors for industrial and medical uses. However, hemp is a new crop with potential challenges related to pests and their management that have not been addressed yet," says Muhammad Z. "Zee" Ahmed, Ph.D.

"Over 250 arthropod and mollusk species have been reported on hemp worldwide. However, there is no information on which species are present in Florida, whether they feed indoors or outdoors, or which can cause major problems. In a new article published in December 2023 in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, colleagues and I reviewed the available literature on hemp pests nationally and internationally, conducted outdoor and indoor hemp cultivation surveys, prepared a list of hemp pests, developed their diagnostic framework, and proposed their available management options for the first time."

"We found evidence of 105 pest species of arthropods (insects and arachnids) and mollusks (snails and slugs) belonging to 86 genera, 41 families, 10 orders, and 2 phyla associated with hemp that are either present or intercepted in Florida (see infographic at the top of this article). This makes hemp one of the crops with the most diverse pest communities in the state," Muhammad says.

"We found 78 species in Florida that were already reported in the published literature and 27 species reported on hemp for the first time in this study, ranging from small arthropods to large mollusks."

Read more at: entomologytoday.org