Hemp Pest Spectrum and Potential Relationship between Helicoverpa zea Infestation and Hemp Production in the United States in the Face of Climate Change
There has been a resurgence in the cultivation of industrial hemp, Cannabis sativa L., in the United States since its recent legalization. This may facilitate increased populations of arthropods associated with the plant. Hemp pests target highly marketable parts of the plant, such as flowers, stalks, and leaves, which ultimately results in a decline in the quality. Industrial hemp can be used for several purposes including production of fiber, grain, and cannabidiol. Thus, proper management of pests is essential to achieve a substantial yield of hemp in the face of climate change. In this review, we provide updates on various arthropods associated with industrial hemp in the United States and examine the potential impact of climate change on corn earworm (CEW) Helicoverpa zea Boddie, a major hemp pest. For example, temperature and photoperiod affect the development and diapause process in CEW. Additionally, drought can lead to a reduction in hemp growth. Host plant diversity of CEW may prevent populations of the pest from reaching outbreak levels. It is suggested that hemp varieties resistant to drought, high soil salinity, cold, heat, humidity, and common pests and diseases should be selected. Ongoing research on effective management of CEW in hemp is critical.
Keywords: Cannabis sativa; beneficials; climate change; corn earworm; industrial hemp; pests.