Welcome to our Ag Blog. Our field scouts will offer a unique ground-level perspective from the field to you as an independent field scout with the San Joaquin Sustainable Farming Project. Our mission is to promote sustainable farming systems throughout the Central Valley and provide you with the latest information about cotton, almond and alfalfa crops. From time to time, you'll also find guest posts from our project team and other contributors. This Blog is edited by Gilbert Mohtes-Chan.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Windy Weather Puts May Sprays for Almonds on Hold
Every season, almond experts will talk about
applying May sprays for controlling pests such as peach twig borer or San Jose
scale. Timing can be critical.
But as the month of May wound down
last week, some growers were having a hard time getting their treatments done
thanks to Mother Nature, field scout Jenna Horine points out.
Windy weather put a damper on May sprays in almonds.
“A lot of
people were trying to get their May sprays in,” Jenna says. But it was too darn
windy. That forced growers to play a waiting game. Jenna adds that one grower
started spraying his orchard when the winds picked up and forced him to call it
During the week, winds averaged 11 to 14 miles an
hour across the Valley, according to National Weather Service stats.
David Doll, a pomologists and almond expert with UC
Cooperative Extensive in Merced County, says peach twig borer (PTB) is one of the pests that growers
tackle in their May sprays. The timing is based on degree days. For PTB, the
sprays are based on the accumulation of degree days (400 to 500) after the
first few moths are caught in traps.
Alfalfa growers are irrigating their fields for a third harvest .
Growers want to do their May treatment before the
weather starts getting hotter and the pest populations start to increase.
Jenna sees some growers getting a jump on orchard preparations for the fall
harvest. Many say the dry winter is pushing almond development about three
months ahead of time. We could see the harvest starting in September.
In the fields, alfalfa growers are irrigating fields
and looking toward a third harvest. All have finished with the second cutting
of the season. So far, Carlos reports no
major pest problems in alfalfa.
Day Alert: Alfalfa growers will have an opportunity
to receive valuable tips about pest and crop management from leading ag experts
during a June 9 field day in Dos Palos. The
event features Dr. Pete Goodell of UC IPM, Fresno County ag specialist William
Griffin and pest control advisor and agronomist Francisco Parra. The field day
runs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Scout Hut, 1910 Marguerite St., Dos Palos. The
speakers will update farmers with a follow-up on the blue alfalfa aphid
outbreak this year, non-fumigant VOC regulations, vertebrate pest control and
drip irrigation in alfalfa. Directions are available in the events
sectionof the Sustainable Cotton
Project’s website. Two hours of continuing education credits are available,
including one hour of rules and regulations.