Azure Standard Update, May 23 -- Azure Farms ‘on the right track’ but faces challenges in controlling weeds


Azure Farms ‘on the right track’ but faces challenges in controlling weeds
By  Eric Mortenson

May 23, 2017 | ... Barroso said the perennial weeds growing at Azure Farms are difficult to control, and it will take more than a single application or action to do the job. Because Azure Farms is organic, it would lose certification for three years if it attacks its weeds with the herbicides used by conventional farms in the area. Some local farmers believe the weed problem is so bad that Azure should spray, take its lumps with decertification and start organic farming again with clean fields in three years.

Dan Arp, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at OSU, said weed scientist Barroso will provide “evidence-based information with regard to what may or may not work” to control the weeds. The help could include information on treatment methods and weed seed transmission, he said.

“We don’t design management plans,” Arp said. “This clearly is a county issue, the county has authority. They’re the ones who have to approve the plan.”

“It’s an interesting example of the issues around co-existence,” Arp said.

At a Sherman County Court hearing last week in the local high school gym, Azure Farms principals David and Nathan Stelzer presented a plan to control Rush Skeleton, Canada Thistle, White Top and Bindweed growing on their 1,922-acre farm on the outskirts of Moro, the county seat. An estimated 300 people attended, more than one-sixth the county’s population.

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