Biocontrol Agents for Organic Farming… the terminology

Written by A.O. Kime

Continued from page 1

The use of viruses and bacteria can sound kinda scary but don’t worry, microbial control agents in Arizona are regulated byrepparttar Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),repparttar 142769 Environmental Services Division ofrepparttar 142770 Arizona Department of Agriculture,repparttar 142771 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) andrepparttar 142772 Plant Quarantine Act (PQA) but you still need permits fromrepparttar 142773 State of Arizona, USDA, APHIS and from Biotechnology and Environmental Protection (BEEP). Only then can a farmer applyrepparttar 142774 stuff… if his crop ain’t already ate up. We’re not done yet, we still have ‘biochemical control agents’. These are semichemicals such as plant-growth regulators, hormones, enzymes, pheromones, allomones and kairomones which are “either naturally occurring or identical to a natural product that attract, retard, destroy or otherwise exert a pesticidal activity”. Impressive, huh?

But that’s still not enough already…repparttar 142775 EPA wants to push a stupid term called ‘biorational pesticides'. And this is where they get picky… you can userepparttar 142776 term if you’re (1) not talking about bugs or (2) not talking about synthetic-made stuff they don’t think is identical enough to a given product of nature. Anyway, I hate that term, there is nothing rational about causing more confusion. In all, there are over 200 biocontrols of which some have multi-use applications which equates to about 300 specific uses and there are at least 400 of these 'products' on repparttar 142777 market. Competing companies supplyingrepparttar 142778 same product accounts for this discrepancy.

A lot of biocontrols have hard-to-pronounce, stuffy-sounding scientific names, which, I think, are thought-up by laboratory-shackled scientists who jealously hate farmers and like to see them get tongue-twisted and embarrassed. One such case is ‘bacillus thuringiensis’, a bacteria widely used and marketed in different variations but to spoil their fun, farmers just call them ‘B-Ts’. Another thing farmers can use are made of ‘nuclear polyhedrosis viruses’ but they don’t sound very environment-friendly to me.

What I really think is dumb are those goofy brand-namesrepparttar 142779 distributors use for these biocontrol products such as ‘Doom’, ‘Condor’, ‘Futura’, ‘Grandlure’ and so forth. I think they hired repparttar 142780 same marketing guys that work forrepparttar 142781 car companies… they think brand names gotta sound ‘cool’.

Farmers also use juvenile hormones and behavioral modifiers. Juvenile hormones keep bugs from maturing, thus denying them their adult and reproductive cycle. It should be obvious what behavioral modifiers do... it makes them less destructive. Agricultural firms sell plant-growth regulators too, made from cytokinins and gibberellic acid. There are also sex hormones on repparttar 142782 market to confuse and attract bugs. Confusion and bugs I don’t need.

In summary, these biocontrols are incredibly diverse but they don’t include genetically engineered plants which have disease or insect resistant qualities, but that’s another story. See Genetically Modified Food (external link) or else genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (external link)

Well, that sorta brings you up-to-date, so consider yourself ‘bio-informed’. Remember though, you can’t go around saying ‘biological’ anymore because people might think you’re talking about bugs. If you’re still confused, talk about something else or you could end up getting mighty embarrassed. Some words might even sound organic when they're not. I knew a farmer who, when he first heardrepparttar 142783 term ‘entrepreneur’, asked… “What kinda manure is that?”

(A.O. Kime is a former licensed pest control advisor)

------------------------------------------------ Resource Box: © A.O. Kime (2003) A.O. Kime is an author of two books plus some 70 articles on ancient history, spiritual phenomena, political issues, social issues and agriculture which can be seen at ------------------------------------------------

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Resource Box: © A.O. Kime (2003) A.O. Kime is an author of two books plus some 70 articles on ancient history, spiritual phenomena, political issues, social issues and agriculture which can be seen at

Poison Oak Pleasures

Written by Ed Williams

Continued from page 1

“Ed, what’s going on?”

My clever retort, “Not much.”

We chatted for awhile, then Will glanced downwards at my ankles and said, in a voice loud enough for approximately sixty percent ofrepparttar gym to hear him,

“Ed, what are those big red spots onrepparttar 142768 sides of your ankles? It’s like you’re some kind of a red spotted Dalmation or something!”

I heard a few snickers, and when I looked up I felt like every eyeball inrepparttar 142769 building was locked onto my ankles. Without even thinking, I sort of crossed them to hide them, which hadrepparttar 142770 net effect of spreadingrepparttar 142771 spots even more. Forrepparttar 142772 rest of my workout I was avoided likerepparttar 142773 plague, andrepparttar 142774 word going aroundrepparttar 142775 gym was that I had an affliction that ranged anywhere from poison oak to some kind of incurable disease. Needless to say, I leftrepparttar 142776 Wellness Center a little less than pumped up, exuberant, and renewed.

So now I sit here writing this with ankles redder than China, trying to balm my deep inner pain with some Breyer’s Butter Pecan ice cream. I guess some worthless things will always be around, and all any of us can do is to makerepparttar 142777 best of what they bring, which is a good thought to keep in mind as I get ready to entertain a few of my distant relatives this coming weekend…

Ed’s latest book, “Rough As A Cob,“ can be ordered by calling River City Publishing toll-free at: 877-408-7078. He’s also a popular after dinner speaker, and his column runs in a number of Southeastern publications. You can contact him via email at:, or through his web site address at:

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