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Hemp Pest Spectrum and Potential Relationship between Helicoverpa zea Infestation and Hemp Production in the United States in the Face of Climate Change

Department of Biological Sciences, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL 36104, USA
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Academic Editor: Koichi Goka
Insects 2021, 12(10), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100940
Received: 2 September 2021 / Revised: 6 October 2021 / Accepted: 12 October 2021 / Published: 15 October 2021
Cultivation of industrial hemp Cannabis sativa in the United States is now being expanded due to the recent legalization of the crop. Multiple insect pests attack the crop. One of the common pests is the corn earworm Helicoverpa zea that causes extensive damage to the marketable parts of hemp. Changing global climate may lead to expansion of the geographic range of insect pests. Thus, growers of this crop in the United States have to face new and intense pest problems now and in the years to come. Here, we assess the potential relationship between corn earworm infestation and hemp production in the US in the face of climate change. We also provide an update on the arthropods associated with hemp cultivation across the US. Climate change can affect aspects of interactions between hemp and corn earworm. Temperature and photoperiod affect the development and diapause process in H. zea. Drought leads to a reduction in hemp growth. Overall, our assessment suggests the selection of varieties resistant to stresses from climate and insects. Host plant diversity may prevent populations of corn earworm from reaching outbreak levels. Ongoing research on effective management of H. zea on hemp is critical.
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: industrial hemp; Cannabis sativa; climate change; pests; beneficials; corn earworm industrial hemp; Cannabis sativa; climate change; pests; beneficials; corn earworm
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ajayi, O.S.; Samuel-Foo, M. Hemp Pest Spectrum and Potential Relationship between Helicoverpa zea Infestation and Hemp Production in the United States in the Face of Climate Change. Insects 2021, 12, 940. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100940

AMA Style

Ajayi OS, Samuel-Foo M. Hemp Pest Spectrum and Potential Relationship between Helicoverpa zea Infestation and Hemp Production in the United States in the Face of Climate Change. Insects. 2021; 12(10):940. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100940

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ajayi, Olufemi S., and Michelle Samuel-Foo. 2021. "Hemp Pest Spectrum and Potential Relationship between Helicoverpa zea Infestation and Hemp Production in the United States in the Face of Climate Change" Insects 12, no. 10: 940. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100940

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