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, October 1, 2018
Knock, Knock, Knocking on Almond Tree Branches
It won’t be long before those little
goblins and ghosts come knock, knock, knocking on your heavy door, asking for
treats or tricks.
Shaking almond trees again could yield more income.
by the time Halloween arrives in these parts, the almond harvest should be
pretty much wrapped up, says field scout Jenna Mayfield.
“Growers are finished harvesting
nonpareils.Hard shell varieties like
Butte and Padre are left,” she says. Those nuts should be off the trees before
the end of this month.
the meantime, Jenna reminds growers to check their recently harvested trees to
see if there are still more good almonds left. Even after mechanical shaking,
there are nuts that stubbornly cling to branches, refusing to fall to the
“It’s like wasting money,” Jenna points
out. “There may be quality nuts still left in the trees.”
Yes, it might be worthwhile for growers to go knock, knock,
knocking on the almond tree branches one more time.
Workers use long poles to remove extra almonds on the trees.
Jenna points out growers need to determine
the economic benefits between leaving the remaining nuts on the tree or sending
crews out with poles to knock down the leftovers. Some growers might have
mechanical shakers do the work, especially those already out harvesting the remaining
hard shell crops.
Here are some of the benefits this
remaining nuts can serve as winter homes for the dreaded navel orangeworm (NOW).
problems translate into extra money spent on pest treatments in the spring.
of the extra nuts could be sent to the processor and bring in bonus money.
“Growers are weighing this issue,”
Jenna says. “A lot believe this practice pays for itself.”
ALMOND FIELD DAY:For one final
time, growers will have an opportunity to hear valuable tips from David Doll,
the highly regarded almond expert and pomologist with UC Cooperative Extension
in Merced County. The “Almond Doctor” is heading overseas to try almond farming
in Portugal. The free event will be Wednesday, October 17.
Don’t miss out onparting advice from the “doctor.” Stay tuned for more details,
including the time and location.
The popular COTTON FARM TOUR is back, offering a behind-the-scenes look at
cotton production. The day-long tour is set for Thursday, October 25. Leading
experts and professionals will offer insights about cotton cultivation and
processing, addressing issues such as water use, cotton farming practices and
the state of the market for Cleaner Cotton™ fiber. Cost is $40 a person and
covers bus transportation, a catered lunch at the Cardella Winery in Mendota
and snacks and water. The tour starts at 8:15 a.m. at the Best Western Apricot
Inn, 46290 West Panoche Road, Firebaugh. Register through the Sustainable
Cotton Project’s Eventbrite site.
a motel room at the special event price, contact the Apricot Inn at
(559) 659-1444 and ask for “Sustainable Cotton Project — Cotton Farm Tour”