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, April 13, 2015
Cotton, Baseball Seasons Move Ahead in Lock Step
baseball is in the air and the local Fresno Grizzlies minor league team opened
its season on Thursday.
Yes, springtime also spawns optimism among fans and
players that they will have a successful year.
Cotton and baseball are off to a marathon start to the season.
You might say
the same is true for cotton growers, who also start their season in April. And
like baseball, their season resembles a marathon rather than a sprint. Both starting
in the spring and end in the fall.
In baseball, there’s the first pitch. In cotton,
there’s the first seeds in the ground.
scout Carlos Silva reports some early bird growers are benefitting by the early
spring warm weather. They should start seeing seedlings popping out of the
ground soon. Typically it takes 180 to 200 days for cotton to go from seed to
Just like baseball fans, growers look at the spring
as a fresh start, feeling optimistic they’ll have a winning crop six months
from now – even in a drought.
Cotton planting is in full swing in the Central Valley.
Speaking of drought, Carlos says many long-time cotton
growers are continuing to stick with the crop, despite the four straight dry
years. Still, we wouldn’t be surprised if there is another decline in cotton
acreage in 2015. Last year, the drought prompted California growers to reduce
acreage by 23 percent to about 215,000 acres.
While cotton season is just under way, alfalfa is
moving along nicely with growers completing their first cutting of the year. We’re
hoping the water supplies will hold up enough for growers to continue harvests into
On the pest front, weevils have been under control
so far, according to Carlos. Blue alfalfa aphids have been on the rise, but the
number remain below the threshold to treat the fields.