Pest Management

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:

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Shilajit – An Ayurvedic Powerhouse

Often times I get the question, “How do I prevent my plants from getting sick?”. The answer is simple, and that is through plant immunity. In short, there are two primary factors that contribute to plant immunity:

  1. Adequate Mineral Nutrition
  2. Having that nutrition delivered in the form of microbial metabolites

When plants are given these essential needs in the form of microbial metabolites (fulvic acid), they are capable of stacking energy reserves in the forms of fats and waxes known as lipids. These lipids can be recognized as that glossy leaf shine you see in healthy gardens; it coats the leaf surfaces and provides a layer of protection against pests & diseases. For example, in the case of powdery mildew – you’ve just inhaled hundreds of powdery mildew spores since you’ve started reading this article. The reason you’re not falling ill is due to the fact that you’ve got a functional immune system powered by microbiology in your gut. The soil is the gut of the plant; it is the very life line the plant relies on to fend off threats in the field. Plant immunity is directly correlated with disease susceptibility.

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Caterpillar Management – Identification and IPM Practices

Fall is here and so are the caterpillars, at least in Northern California. We have documented numerous instances of caterpillar damage and can officially say there has been a decent hatch this year.  

But how to deal with these nefarious little buggers? The best physical control is to carefully groom each plant and hand pick the caterpillars off. They can be difficult to see, but there are key telltale signs of their presence: 

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