Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks for a bountiful Harvest in the Great Valley

 Almonds are being processed. The last cutting of alfalfa is a distant memory. And the cotton harvest is nearly finished.

With sunshine sandwiched between rain storms, growers are hoping for sunny windy days this week to allow them to pick the remaining 10 percent of cotton left to be harvested. If Mother Nature cooperates, many growers will enjoy their Thanksgiving turkey knowing their cotton crop has been picked and headed for the gin.

It certainly has been another weird weather year. But farmers are a resilient group and they certainly have weathered the storms …and the pests … and they plant diseases this season.

For cotton growers who have wrapped up their harvest, now is the time to cut the stalks and plow down their fields. Many are starting to prepare their beds for next season.
Cotton gin workers are busy processing the harvested crop.

In the almond orchards, growers are starting to prune their trees and get ready for the dormant season. I often see trees with some mummy nuts left. Almond experts remind growers to knock off those mummies to prevent problems with navel orangeworms next season. Remember good winter sanitation practices pay off in the long run.

If you want to learn more about preparing for next year’s almond crop, be sure to attend our Almond Pest Management Field Day on Monday, November 28. It’s a must-attend event if you want to get a jump on planning for the 2012 season. The free event will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Rushing Ranch, 11599 W. Shaw Ave., Fresno.
UCCE's David Doll, left, offers tips to growers.

University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management program entomologist Walt Bentley will discuss sampling for scale and crop-damaging pests during the fall and winter. The “Almond Doctor” David Doll, aka the Merced County UC Cooperative Extension pomology farm advisor specializing in almonds, will cover dormant season practices to help prevent almond diseases and reduce the risk of fungicide resistance. 

This is a great opportunity to get your questions answered from two of the state’s leading almond experts. At the same time, you can earn two hours of continuing education credits.

As we think about next season, we can look back at this season and give thanks to a bountiful and we hope profitable harvest. Happy Thanksgiving.

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