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Home & Garden: Agricultural training available locally

Curt Swift
CURT’S CORNER
Free Press Gardening Columnist
Wheatgrass
Courtesy / Curt Swift |

Commercial pesticide applicators are those who charge a fee for applying pesticides. To maintain their state-issued license, they need a certain amount and type of continuing education credit. Private pesticide applicators also need training to maintain their licenses.

A private pesticide applicator is one who applies pesticides to his or her own land in the production of an agricultural commodity. This would include individuals who own sod farms, grow corn or wheat, or even trees and shrubs for sale. Most of the products the private applicator uses are over-the-counter such as what you and I can buy at the garden center or big-box store. However, if a grower is using a pesticide that has a restricted use, he or she needs a private pesticide applicator license to buy or apply the product. As with any professional, staying current in their field of one’s specialty is critical. Neglecting to obtain the required training every few years results in the loss of one’s license and for good reason. The requirement for continuing education helps ensure the professional is up to date on laws and regulations and changes in products and their use.

To ensure commercial and private pesticide applicators receive the required continuing education credit required, Jude Sirota and I are conducting a training program on Friday, May 15, in Grand Junction. If you are a commercial or private pesticide applicator you might want to consider attending the training. It is usually easier to attend a training program than taking the tests again. You can give me a call at 970-778-7866 to learn more about this training.

Annual wheatgrass, Eremopyrum triticeum, has recently been a weed of interest on Facebook. Kathie Wilcox Hill recently posted an image of the seed heads to my Facebook page, asking if this was good or bad. This annual grass appears in barren areas, in fence rows, alleys and clayey saline soils. Like cheat grass (Downy Brome), this introduced grass greatly increases the chance of fire. As with the other annual grasses and many annual broadleaf weeds this weed is already starting to go to seed. Once seed development starts, spraying the infestation with herbicide is a waste of time and money. The plant is just about ready to die anyway (it is an annual) and the seed will continue to develop and ripen even after the plant is dead. Cutting the plant down before it starts to develop seed is the best method of control.

I have been asked by friends in Boulder if a workshop on the production and cultivation of marijuana would be of interest to individuals in this area. I would consider coordinating a workshop in western Colorado covering this crop if there is enough interest. If you or friends are interested, drop me a note or give me a call. I would like to start a mailing list for all interested in learning more about growing this plant.

Free Press columnist Dr. Curtis E. Swift is a retired horticulture agent with the Colorado State University Extension. Reach him at Curtis.Swift@alumni.colostate.edu, 970-778-7866 or check out his blog at http://SwiftsGardeningBlog.blogspot.com. He owns Swift Horticultural Consulting and High Altitude Lavender.


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