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 produced by Gilbert Mohtes-Chan.
Monday, November 7, 2016
Back on the Harvesters – Cotton Farmers Will BeThankful When the Season Is Finally Wrapped Up
harvesters returned to action last week after a brief hiatus because of a nice
little soaking from Mother Nature.
But 7 mph early November winds and temperatures
returning to the 70s helped dry therain-soaked fiber – although growers had to
wait for the infamous Valley fog to lift before firing up the harvesters for a
long day in the fields.
Growers waited for the fog to lift before resuming harvest.
“On Monday and Tuesday (last week) the fields were
being picked again,” reports field scout Carlos Silva. “I’ve seen people
working into the night.”
In one field in the Firebaugh area, one grower
brought in three pickers to work the field.
“We’re getting close for things to start to wrap
up.”The remaining fields should be
picked over the next couple weeks – in time for growers to be thankful for the
end of another cotton season before Thanksgiving.
Overall, California cotton growers are expecting
solid season despite the state’s five-year drought and ongoing challenge over
USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service Pacific Region predicts
acala-upland production to be 235,000 bales, up 43 percent from 2015. Harvested
acreage is predicted to be up 41 percent to 65,000 acres. For pima, production
is forecast at 484,000 bales, up 32 percent from 2015. Harvested acreage is
predicted to be up 32 percent to 153,000 acres.
USDA predicts an increase in cotton production this year.
While cotton is no longer king in California
agriculture, it is far from being banished from the state’s royal court of
crops. Kudos to a dedicated group of Valley farmers who have remained committed
to growing the fiber, especially during these unprecedented dry times.
In recapping the season, Carlos says growers overall
had a fairly good year on the pest front. “Pest problems were definitely lower
than last year.” Of course, there were some reports of farmers who experienced lygus, whitefly and aphid issues, but the problems didn’t
appear to be widespread.
In fact, a few growers told Carlos they didn’t even
treat their fields for pests the entire season. “When you hear growers didn’t
spray all season then things are pretty good.” We’ll second that.