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February 2005


Mark your calendars for the upcoming Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Training seminars.  Sandra McDonald with CSU will provide the training program. Any questions that arise and can’t be answered by Sandra will be forwarded on to EPA with answers coming back through me. Compliance packets will be available at no charge. Mesa county: Wednesday March 2nd, 1 pm til 4 pm, Mesa County Fairgrounds, Building C.  Delta county: Thursday March 3rd, 9 am til noon, Delta/Montrose Vo-Tech, Enterprise room.  Refreshments will be served and a door prize given away!


If you made it to the Hort show and had an opportunity to hear any of Brent Warner’s talks you know what a great resource he is.  Brent has published two books on marketing.  “Marketing on the Edge” a Marketing Guide For Progressive Farmers, and “Cultivating Agritourism” Tools and Techniques for Building Success.  Brent is going to send me a case of each of these at cost.  If you’re interested let me know, at this point there’s only a few copies left out of the case.  The cost should be about $20-25 for both.


Great news for our organic growers!  Albion’s line of Metalosate foliar nutrients has been certified for organic production and all the manufacturing wrinkles have been ironed out.  The following elements will be available this season: Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn and Zn. 


Each year I do my best to attend the Western Orchard Pest & Disease Management Conference in Portland Oregon.  Every January research entomologists from across the country and around the world gather to discuss their findings.  You can take a look at what gets presented each year via their website:   Click on “proceedings” and the archive will come up.


Green peach aphid (GPA) has a host range of over 875 species of plants, including all stone fruits and many ornamental shrubs and vegetables.  GPA has a complex life cycle with five distinct morphological forms (eggs, nymphs, winged females, winged males and wingless females) and two behavioral forms (flight and flightless). Eggs hatch in the spring, producing wingless females that reproduce parthenogenetically. (OK time to get the dictionary out!) It means without fertilization from males. These eggs develop so quickly that they hatch before they exit the female and living 1st instar females are born.  After several generations of wingless females are produced, winged females are produced which migrate to secondary herbaceous host plants where they produce more wingless females by asexual reproduction.  This event in the life cycle is part of what causes us to believe that the population has “crashed”, when in fact it has simply moved.   Other factors leading to a mid-season population crash are, decline in plant nutritional quality, increased natural enemy pressure and extreme weather events such as severe rainstorms. Toward the end of summer, winged males and females are produced.  They migrate back to their primary host plant (peach), mating occurs and over-wintering eggs are laid at the base of buds.  These eggs are oblong 0.6mm x 0.3mm (smaller than the head of a pin) and shiny black.  Temperature plays a principal role in GPA biology.  The longevity of adults is 3 months at 41F, 10 days at 77F.  Longevity of nymphs is 21 days at 50F, 7 days at 77F.  Females are capable of producing as few as 36 offspring at 50F or as many as 76 offspring at 86F.  Fertility drops rapidly at temperatures over 86F. GPA adults can withstand 32F and larvae will survive to the 4th instar at 37F.  

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