I understand what youíre saying about classifying programs and I mostly agree with it, but we donít have anything to hold ourselves and each other to it. Itís still very much the Wild West with respect to that. I suppose you could take someone to court over misrepresenting their product. Iíve seen customers take LCOs to court over this very issue. The customer thought they were buying an organic program and the LCOís sales material said it was all natural and organic, but their invoices listed conventional fertilizers and conventional pesticides. The LCO said that the program was organic because he applied an organic fertilizer twice in the summer and he only used the pesticides when they were needed.
How do you think a classification system should be developed and implemented?
On my conventional LCO remarks, note that I said ďMost conventional operators that I know Ö.Ē Most conventional operators that I personally know do blanket apply PRE herbicides, but only spot treat POST herbicides. Most operators that I personally know only apply insecticides in the area of insect activity (not blanket) when the documented pest damage or population reaches a common threshold level. In my business, scouting is everything. We actively scout our customersí properties and treat only the problem areas with the proper amount of material only when needed. We donít do blanket applications of any herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, or otherwise. Do most LCOs you know operate differently than this?
So, perhaps you can see why I donít think that using anything with conventional fertilizers (even if it has some OM in it) and spot treating with conventional pesticides qualifies a competitor to honestly differentiate himself from my program of conventional fertilizers and spot treating with conventional pesticides. Nor do I think that such a competitor has an honest and valid claim to say that type of program is healthier or better for the environment than mine. Most of those operators use more synthetic materials than responsible conventional operators, but they hope to dupe the customer into thinking that their organic fertilizer applications outweigh the negatives they claim that conventional applications have, even though they still use conventional materials.