GET TO KNOW NICK HASTIN, GAR BENNETT PCA

CROP PROTECTION

Almonds: Check your days to harvest and consult with your GAR Bennett PCA on second or third applications for navel orangeworm (NOW). The heat delayed the timing of this year’s applications. This is also a good time to collect hull samples to get a look at your boron levels as well as soil samples to plan your post-harvest program.

Citrus: We are still monitoring for thrips in young trees and citricola scale in some blocks. Those planning on exporting to Korea should be in close contact with their GAR Bennett PCA and packing house on products to use for fuller rose beetle. The first of two fuller rose beetle sprays required for Korea export need to be done by the end of August. Most growers who needed it have finished up the second flight of red scale and we are in the middle of a third hatch. This hatch has previously created big blow ups during September. Make sure to closely monitor your blocks for late scale activity as it may be your last opportunity to clean up blocks before harvest.

Grapes: Harvest has started in the earlier varieties for wine, table and raisin grapes. As harvest grows near for the later varieties, consult your GAR Bennett PCA for any bunch rot issues. We are nearing the end of mite pressure however, as each week goes by, the potential for mealybug damage to occur increases. Mealybugs thrive in shady areas of the vine and grow their populations, creating a mess on the grapes. High ant activity may be a good indication that mealybugs are a problem in the field. Consult your GAR Bennett PCA on any late potassium applications to increase Brix levels in later varieties and be ready to discuss post-harvest fertilizer applications.

Stone Fruit: Continue to monitor and be diligent for oriental fruit moth (OFM) and peach twig borer populations as well as brown rot. Late varieties of peaches, nectarines and plums are being harvested. We are continuing our pre-harvest treatments and keeping a watchful eye on the orchard for fruit decay and insect pressures. With the high temperatures, be sure to continue to keep an eye out for mites. Now is a good time for growers to be preparing their post-harvest fertilizer programs. Consult your GAR Bennett PCA about taking tissue samples to assess field needs for these programs.

Cherries: Summer pruning is wrapping up. As we fight the summer heat, we are continuing to apply sunburn protection and clean up weeds. Consult your GAR Bennett PCA on boron and zinc sprays in the coming months to help ensure fruitful buds for next season as trees go into dormancy.

Pistachios: Growers are cleaning up orchard floors and getting ready for harvest. Hull split sprays are currently being applied. The crop load looks good this year across the Valley.

Walnuts: Growers are preparing for harvest. In the South Valley, some are spraying for NOW as well as keeping an eye out for mites. This is also a good time to pull soil samples and talk with your GAR Bennett PCA about post-harvest fertilizer programs. Walnut harvest will move fast this year due to the extreme heat and low levels of wildfire smoke, helping the nuts to dry. Some growers who are having to pump for water are seeing chloride damage.

Tomatoes: We are about 90% complete with harvest. Some fields with late fruit are being treated for armyworms and black mold.

Dehydrated Onions: Growing season is over for this crop and harvest will start in September.

Cotton: This crop is being treated for lygus. Some fields are being treated early for whitefly, aphid, and an isolated hatch of beet armyworms. Late August into September is usually when aphid and whitefly become a problem, consult your GAR Bennett PCA about treatment options.

Alfalfa Seed: Earlier fields have been harvested. Later fields have been desiccated and will be harvested in 3-4 days.

Photo Courtesy of Suterra ©2021 Mando Perez, PCA

MATING DISRUPTION

Protect Almond Crops by Removing Mummy Nuts
contributed by Mike Portugal of Suterra
Navel orangeworm (NOW) is one of the main pests almond growers in California must manage. When it comes to minimizing damage caused by this pest, one technique continues to be recognized as the most effective baseline approach: sanitation. By following proven sanitation guidelines, growers can limit the pest’s ability to overwinter, thereby reducing NOW pressure going into next season. Reduced populations can lessen pest damage and pathogen inoculum.
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CROP NUTRITION

Farming Tree Crops Doesn’t End at Harvest
contributed by Steve Easterby, Agronomist, FBSciences Inc.
Harvest is not the end of the growing season for perennial crops. The health of the trees post-harvest is just as important in the fall as it is in the spring. Soil and foliar nutrient applications and proper irrigation support the production of carbohydrates necessary for winter survival and spring growth.
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WATER SERVICES

WATER QUALITY & EFFICIENCY

Post-harvest nutrition for tree crops is vital to next season’s success. After harvesting, establishing proper soil health and applying adequate nutrients is key when trees are transitioning into the dormant period. With our ongoing drought conditions here in the Central Valley, dry fertilizers may not get the rain they need to be effective. Liquid fertilizers can solve this, but poor irrigation water quality can reduce the effectiveness of your fall fertilizer program. Water quality can be impacted by several factors, from bicarbonates tying up valuable nutrients, scale or iron causing clogging and lowering distribution uniformity (DU), or high salinity levels that could potentially reduce plant growth.

Contact your GAR Bennett expert to learn more about our free water sampling program, and make sure you’re irrigating with the best water possible.
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COMPLIANCE

WORKER SAFETY 

As multiple crops are in production this time of year, it is crucial to train employees on near-misses. Cal/OSHA defines near-misses as incidents “in which a worker might have been hurt if the circumstances had been slightly different.” Our trainers at GAR Bennett stress this topic to all employees to limit the issues that occur more frequent than not. Reporting near-misses is a crucial tool for proper training activities. Close calls are known to happen however, it is important to train employees to report and talk about this as a group. This encourages farm employees to keep a close eye on these accidental mishaps. Reach out to GAR Bennett today for any questions or help with worker safety!
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FOOD SAFETY 

Our food safety team is gearing up for the new GLOBALG.A.P version5.4 audit scheme that will go live in November 2021. On August 16, a 3-day training was held at GAR Bennett’s office in Reedley. The training covered general regulations and compliance criteria for the new scheme that is required with the GFSI benchmarked audit. Our team was lucky to have Thomas Watkins, Technical Manager with QIMA/WQS, as lead trainer, helping attendees become familiar with the new standard. Our consultants are ready to help growers maintain or get started with their food safety audit. Reach out to GAR Bennett today and receive firsthand experience with certified experts.
Click HERE to avoid hefty fines by contacting our food and worker safety teams.
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WHAT’S HAPPENING

Thank you for your support and votes in helping GAR Bennett win ADAMA’s “Thank a Retailer” contest! The following are the recipients chosen to receive $18,000 in funds:

  • $5000 – Kern County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers – They will use these funds to help struggling 4-H clubs purchase animals and pay for entry show/fair fees.
  • $5000 – Fresno Storyland – Storyland has a long history of promoting childhood literacy and will be using the grant to restore and improve McGregor’s Garden.
  • $5000 – ImagineU Children’s Museum – These funds are to create an interactive “planting station” play area.
  • $1000 – Fowler Malaga Ag Boosters – This gift will be used to help provide leadership training and entry fees for events.
  • $1000 (each) – Madera County Farm Bureau Scholarship Fund and Tulare County Farm Bureau Scholarship Fund – These Farm Bureau Scholarship funds help support and advance young agriculturists to pursue higher education.
Farmers’ Almanac Released with Modern Take
Danielle Leal, AgNet West
First-Ever Declaration of Colorado River Water Shortage Will Affect Agriculture First
By Dan Nosowitz, Modern Farmer
Commentary: It’s time to fulfill the promise: Build Sites Reservoir
By Jeffrey P. Sutton, AgAlert