Pest Alert – Cannabis Aphid

The Oregon Dept of Agriculture has detected a new pest species for cannabis.

Phorodon cannabis, known as the cannabis aphid, bhang aphid, or hemp aphid, feeds on cannabis. It is only known from two locations in Oregon (Portland and Estacada) at this time, but it is very likely that it is established and unrecognized at other facilities. The pest is established in much of Europe and Asia, North Africa, and it is known from Colorado in North America. It appears to be a recent arrival in Oregon, and it is in the interest of all growers of cannabis to slow its spread.

Download the PDF from the ODA:

Calcium’s role in Cannabis Physiology

“Calcium is an extremely important plant nutrient due to its many functions, which includes membrane structural integrity, maintenance of homeostasis, segregation of genetic material during cell division, gene expression, energetics and enzyme activities. The full picture of calcium-mediated physiological processes has not been fully described here nor clarified in academic research; however, researchers do know that calcium is immobile in plants and that it is a constant requirement throughout all growth phases.”

Mark June-Wells, Ph.D.

Visit Cannabis Business Times for an interesting article on the roles of Calcium in plant physiology…

Pesticide Advisory Alerts

With Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) leading the charge for testing pesticides for off-label ingredients, it has become increasingly commonplace for pesticides to contain trace residues of off-label chemicals. In 2016 a cannabis lab in Oregon decided to test the product Guardian Mite Spray and detected the chemical abamectin. This was reported to the ODA and a subsequent stop sale was issued.  Shortly thereafter, Mighty Wash tested positive for pyrethrins.  Now, the latest product that has come to light is Azatrol, a product containing azadirachtin, which is the concentrated extract from neem oil. The Oregon Department of Agriculture issued a stop sale for the Azatrol stating: “ODA’s actions come following an investigation of the product and laboratory analysis that found the presence of the pesticide active ingredients permethrin, bifenthrin, cypermethrin, cyfluthrin, and chlorpyrifos, none of which are listed on either product label.”

Compost Tea for Cannabis

Emerald Queen Farms uses compost teas

Cannabis farmers are always searching for ways to optimize productivity.  Larger yields, higher quality and ways to cut costs top the directives. Within this industry however, there seems to be an overuse of synthetic fertilizers with little understanding of the biological systems involved in nutrient uptake and disease control.  Many inexperienced growers overuse synthetic fertilizers, hoping that more nutrients means higher yields.  All that really happens is a massive salt buildup, which leads to dead microbes, nutrient lockout, and a lot of flushing.  Many others overdo synthetic fungicides without really targeting “the root” of the problem.

Over the last 20 years, compost tea has been clearly gaining traction as an important variable on organic and sustainable crop production.  Anecdotal evidence, now coupled with considerable scientific research now proves various types of compost teas can suppress plant pathogens and diseases while also boosting yields and quality through microbial activity, effectively eliminating the need for hazardous agrochemicals.

The Facts About Dynamic Accumulators


By John Kitsteiner

Within the world of Permaculture we often find reference to plants known as Dynamic Accumulators. In brief, this is the idea that certain plants (often deep-rooted ones) will draw up nutrients from the lower layers of the soil, and these nutrients will be stored in the plants’ leaves. When the leaves fall in autumn and winter and are broken down, those stored nutrients are then incorporated into the upper layers of the soil where other plants will benefit from their deposition….

Read the full article at Permaculture Research Institute.

The Future of Pesticides … Pyrolysis Studies and Separate Classifications for Flowers, Concentrates and Edibles


Accounting to the obscurity regarding the lack of regulation and oversight for the entire modern history of this plant, pesticide testing on cannabis is only now seeing the light of day.  The absence of official federal government rulings has left state regulators scrambling to standardize, monitor and enforce these guidelines on their own. This unfortunately has lead to unavoidable lack of oversight and widespread misuse of unapproved pesticides. Incredibly, the Cannabis Safety Institute has reported “that pesticide residue on retail Cannabis products is often found at levels exceeding the allowable levels on any agricultural product.” This lack of oversight has created an ever-increasing need to understand how long pesticides persist on the plants and what classes of pesticides are considered safe for use.

CHA Membership Is Now Open to All Interested Researchers, Educators, Students, Horticulturists and Industry Professionals

CHA Grassroots Science

Our membership is a premier package for individuals, professionals and businesses to take part in supporting and expanding their knowledge to develop the scientific understanding for cultivating the highest grade cannabis in the most sustainable fashion. Member funding goes to support the expansion of our database as well as conduct outreach to promote ecologically sound management for the cannabis industry. Our online resource center currently covers three broad categories of Integrated Pest Management, Integrated Nutrient Management, and BioControls.

Regulating Pest Controls

Rodale Institute

By Kelsey McKee, OMRI Review Program and Quality Director

Clearly, a commitment to organic practices means that growers will generally use pest control products as a last resort, but organic farmers are permitted to use some potent materials in order to address severe pest issues. Although most pest control products allowed for organic production are naturally derived, these materials can be quite toxic – especially when used in excess. There are written requirements that are part of the organic standards, and these constraints are not always obvious to organic consumers, or to gardeners who do not work with a certifier. The organic standards include an important clause that limits the circumstances under which pest control products may be used.

Plant growth-promoting (PGP) microbes

filamentous bacteria

This article is an excerpt from Springer Open Journal. References are included in original article.

Plant growth-promoting (PGP) microbes are rhizosphere associated organisms that colonize the rhizosphere and rhizoplane and improve plant growth when artificially inoculated onto the seeds or into soil. PGP microbes may promote plant growth either by direct stimulation such as iron chelation, phosphate solubilization, nitrogen fixation and phytohormone production or by indirect stimulation such as suppression of plant pathogens and induction of resistance in host plants against pathogens. The opportunities of PGP microbes include alternating applications of PGP microbes as bio-fungicides with inorganic fungicides to manage fungicide resistance and to reduce the number of fungicide applications per year. PGP microbes also plays an important role in inte-run-off of unused fertilizers and the environment damage that results.

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