Montana State University Extension will host a free seminar on Feb. 11 in Great Falls to give an update on hemp grown in Montana and discuss hemp research and use of pesticides with hemp.

Jan Slaski, Ph.D., Pa.G., is a principle researcher with InnoTech Alberta who has been leading research aimed at introduction and breeding of hemp varieties that suit the needs of the fiber and food industries for over the last 17 years. Slaski will discuss hemp breeding, agronomy, fiber processing and product development. Slaski has been serving the hemp industry as a director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance since 2012.

The second speaker is Andy Gray with the Montana Department of Agriculture, where he serves as the hemp program coordinator. Gray will discuss the 2019 hemp growing season and give an update on number of growers, acres planted and more. He will also give an outlook of the license process for 2020 and an overview of the regulatory environment related to hemp production.

Cecil Tharp, Ph.D., serves as the pesticide education specialist for Montana State University. Tharp will present the conventional pesticide registration process and discuss how hemp compares. He will also present an overview of the options available for pest management on hemp and discuss the pros and cons of the limited options available. He will also discuss the future of hemp pesticide registrations in Montana.

The seminar will wrap up with a hemp panel with representatives working in hemp processing or production.

The seminar is free to attend and those interested in producing hemp are encouraged to attend. Private and commercial pesticide applicator credits will be available. The seminar will be held at the Great Falls College MSU Heritage Hall located at 2100 16th Avenue South in Great Falls, starting at 9:30 a.m.

The seminar is funded by MSU Cascade, Choteau, Judith Basin, Liberty and Pondera County Extension offices. Contact MSU Cascade County Extension at 454-6980 for more information.