New Publication Outlines Herbicide Drift Symptoms on Hemp

Brian German Field & Row Crops, Industry

A new publication available from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) provides an overview of herbicide drift symptoms in hemp. After the legalization of industrial hemp production through the 2018 Farm Bill, research has been continually expanding on the commodity. The new resource is freely available through the UC ANR catalog.

Herbicide Drift

“With any new commodity in the landscape there are certain unknowns,” said Sarah Light, UC Cooperative Extension Agronomy Advisor. “We conducted this pretty simple project to just demonstrate what certain herbicide drift symptoms would be on hemp plants. Really, it’s a tool that our existing growers, hemp producers, ag commissioners, anyone working around hemp production can have as a resource.”

The research team looked at the symptoms of 19 different herbicides that are routinely used in California. Light noted that the project was not designed to evaluate recovery from herbicide exposure or measure any yield impact. The purpose was simply to catalog what herbicide drift may look like in hemp fields. “We specifically tried to select products that we thought would be of interest; commonly used herbicides in cropping systems that would be grown in the same region as hemp plants,” Light explained.

Some of the materials tested in the project include glyphosate, oxyfluorfen, glufosinate, rimsulfuron, paraquat, and carfentrazone. The publication includes photos of how the various materials affect hemp plants. Detailed descriptions of what was observed over a two-week period after herbicide exposure are also included. As a relatively new crop, growers are still working to understand and implement best practices for production. The new herbicide drift publication will serve as a valuable resource for growers looking for practical information on hemp production. The new publication will serve as an important resource, especially for growers struggling with herbicide drift that may have been unaware of its cause.

“I believe this resource will help protect all of our existing growers,” said Light. “Drift issues can be very contentious and it’s really important that we are not placing blame on producers that are adjacent to hemp fields.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West