Sign up for weed management conference

Farmers and ranchers have struggled with the presence of weeds in their fields since the beginning of agriculture. Weeds can be considered a significant problem because they tend to decrease crop yields by increasing competition for water, sunlight, and nutrients while serving as host plants for pests and diseases. Since the invention of herbicides, people have used these chemicals to eradicate weeds from their fields. Using herbicides not only increased crop yields but also reduced the labor required to remove weeds.

Today, some producers have a renewed interest in organic methods of managing weeds since the widespread use of agro-chemicals has resulted in purported environmental and health problems. It has also been found that in some cases herbicide use can cause some weed species to dominate fields because the weeds develop resistance to herbicides. In addition, some herbicides are capable of destroying weeds that are harmless to crops, resulting in a potential decrease in biodiversity on farms. It is important to understand that under an organic system of weed control, weeds will never be eliminated but only managed.

Organic weed management is a holistic system involving an entirely different approach to managing a farming system. The organic horticulturalist is not interested in eliminating all weeds but wants to keep the weeds at a threshold that is both economical and manageable. Someone who manages weeds organically must be intimately familiar with the type of weeds and their growth habits to determine which control methods to employ. If you are interested in learning how to manage your weeds in a more organic framework then, the Four-Corners WSARE Organic Weed Management Conference is the place to be.

This conference will take place Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango. Topics include: Cover Crops, Weed Identification, Organic Weed Management Research Updates, Revegetation with Grasses, Hands-On Organic Weed Management Learning Center for Commercial Market Gardens in Local Communities and Organic Herbicides.

Cost for the symposium is $20 if you register before Feb. 17, and $25 after or at the door. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Contact the La Plata County Extension Office at 382-6464 to register or download a brochure at the Archuleta County Extension Web site.

Join the Fair Board

Archuleta County is looking for people to join the Fair Board to help plan the 2009 Fair. The dates for the fair are July 30-Aug. 2.

There will lots of new and exciting things planned as well as the return of many old favorites to this year’s fair. Some activities where you can help include: Education Tent, Lee Sterling Chili Cook-Off, Entertainment, Advertising, Sponsors and Fair Royalty.

The Fair Board will continue to emphasize the importance of the root of our fair, which is 4-H and our Western Heritage. We will always be committed to this priority and at the same time we are also dedicated to meeting the needs of our growing community.

If you are interested in helping with the 2009 fair, contact Kim at 264-5931 or e-mail archulet@ext.colostate.edu.

Calendar

Feb. 12 — Noon, Mountain View Homemakers.

Feb. 13 — 2:15 p.m., Wolf Creek Wonders Club meeting.

Feb. 16 — Office closed for Presidents Day.

Feb. 16 — 6:30 p.m., Back Country Horsemen meeting .

Feb. 17 — 6 p.m., 4-H Family Night.

Feb. 18 — 10 a.m., Mountain High Gardeners.

Feb. 18 — 10 a.m., Foods Project meeting at PAC.

Feb. 18 — 3:30 p.m., Sportsfishing Project meeting .

Feb. 18 — 6 p.m., Fair Board meeting.