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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit » Research » Research Project #440965

Research Project: Determining the Predominant Industrial Hemp Diseases to Assist Breeding and Management Efforts

Location: Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit

Project Number: 2072-21000-056-004-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Oct 1, 2023

Objective:
1. Determine the predominate diseases affecting hemp in Oregon and Washington and the frequency of their occurrence. 2. Determine whether strategies exist for managing the identified diseases in hemp and disseminate to growers through Pacific Northwest (PNW) Handbooks and open access peer review articles.

Approach:
1. Determine the predominate diseases affecting hemp in Oregon and Washington and the frequency of their occurrence. Oregon State University (OSU) is working with partners in the western U.S. to determine the pathogens affecting hemp across a wide range of production conditions. Improved knowledge of disease occurrence and the conditions under which they occur are critical for development of mitigation strategies, including for improvement via plant genetic resistance. Disease occurrence at three stages of crop phenological development will be monitored and plant parts sampled to confirm the identity of the plant pathogens involved. Pure cultures/isolates of first report diseases will be evaluated with Koch’s postulates pathogenicity testing in greenhouse trials. If disease occurrence suggests potential issues with seedborne pathogens, inspection of seed lots may be pursued. The research will be used to determine effects of different growing environments and plant growth stages on disease outbreaks. Data developed will be used to determine the predominate pathogens affecting hemp and minimize the unintended economic consequences of incorporating hemp into existing crop production systems. Surveys will be conducted from 2021 to 2023. 2. Determine whether strategies exist for managing the identified diseases in hemp and disseminate to growers through Pacific Northwest (NNW) Handbooks and open access peer review articles. Upon cataloguing the predominate diseases that occur in the various climatic zones where hemp is produced in the Pacific Northwest, a review of the current management strategies available will be conducted. The identified best practices for hemp will be organized into the hemp section of the PNW Handbook, which can be accessed online. This will give growers a direct resource for management redocumentations that ca be adapted across a wide range of production conditions in the PNW. A peer-reviewed article of our survey findings paired with management best practices will be submitted for publication in an open access journal. Gaps or areas where management strategies are insufficient would be identified for future research activities.