GET TO KNOW CHAD MATTOCK, GAR BENNETT PCA

CROP PROTECTION

Almonds: Growers are in the middle of navel orangeworm (NOW) sprays. If you have not already applied a miticide and did not put one in at hull split, keep a close eye on those blocks for mites. Try to keep down stress as much as possible before reducing irrigation. Ant bait should be out at this time. Orchard floors are being prepped for harvest, be sure to talk with your GAR Bennett PCA about post-harvest fertilizers in preparation for next year’s bloom.

Citrus: Growers are evaluating red scale populations and preparing for applications. Be aware of daytime temperatures when applying scale sprays. With the heat, oil can be difficult to apply. Watch the temperature during and just after spraying to avoid burn on the leaves and/or fruit. Also, monitor your potassium levels to help with sizing and sugar translocation. Consult your GAR Bennett PCA on timing and treatment options.

Grapes: Harvest is right around the corner for this crop, meaning growers are applying foliar potassium to increase Brix levels. As we are getting ready for harvest, keep an eye out for mites and mealybugs. These are pests you’ll want to be diligent about. Mites can decrease your Brix levels and populations have increased in some areas. Consult your GAR Bennett PCA on treatment options if this pest is an issue in your vineyard. Also, keep an eye out for stress due to the heat and check fields that were known to have mildew earlier this season to ensure your last fungicide application is holding up against bunch rot.

Stone Fruit: Worm sprays have been completed however, peak flights are coming up for peach twig borer (PTB) and oriental fruit moth (OFM). Consult your GAR Bennett PCA on products that may be used to treat both pests. Continue to monitor orchards for mites as we head into August. Growers are applying pre-harvest treatments in some fields for brown rot. Keep an eye out for silver thrips and contact your GAR Bennett PCA about pre-harvest treatment options. As we head into August, growers will be preparing their post-harvest fertilizer programs. Now is a good time to take leaf samples to assess field needs for these programs.

Cherries: As we fight the summer heat, be sure to keep an eye on mite development and talk with your GAR Bennett PCA about prompt treatment. Growers are applying sunburn protection and cleaning up weeds. Some are also applying fertilizers based on field demands.

Pistachios: Growers that had Alternaria issues in the past, treated for this disease the first week of July. Berms are being cleaned up with herbicide sprays. Growers are also finishing up their potassium applications this month so the pistachios have enough potassium to complete nut fill. NOW sprays will also begin in a few weeks. Phytophthora symptoms have shown up in some fields. If this disease is a problem in your trees, consult your GAR Bennett PCA on treatment options.

Walnuts: GAR Bennett PCA’s are monitoring husk fly traps and some orchards have already been treated. If you have shady spots or areas of moisture in your fields, consult your PCA on checking these areas for possible husk fly damage. The codling moth 2B flight should peak around July 20. For most orchards, trap counts have been low this season. PCA’s are also monitoring aphid and mite populations. Herbicides are being applied as needed.

Tomatoes: Harvest has started for this crop, with organic tomatoes being first. Some growers have applied worm and sun protection sprays. With the current water situation, some fields are being deficit irrigated.

Dehydrated Garlic and Onions: The season is finished for these crops and growers are now waiting for the processor to harvest. At this point, both crops are looking good with yields.

Cotton: Growers have finished another lygus spray and pix application. GAR Bennett PCA’s are seeing very little whitefly or aphid but are continuing to monitor for these pests.

Alfalfa Seed: Last irrigation went on last week. We are waiting for the seed to mature and cleaning up lygus, aphid and mites in the field.

MATING DISRUPTION

Hull Split in Almonds and Pistachios
contributed by Mike Portugal of Suterra
An important part of an Integrated Pest Management program is timing your harvest. By harvesting efficiently and at the appropriate time, growers can minimize the window of opportunity for pests to infest crops and cause massive economic damage.
One of the most important annual milestones that almond and nut growers have to keep in mind when timing harvest, particularly regarding navel orangeworm (NOW), is hull split.
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CROP NUTRITION

Continued: Maximizing Water Use Efficiency with Nutrient Management
contributed by Steve Easterby, Agronomist, FBSciences Inc.
The most important issue to California farmers this year is water. Many farmers are not receiving any allocations of water from the Central Valley Project. These growers must rely on poorer quality well water.
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WATER SERVICES

Addressing Water pH
contributed by Sean Mahoney, GAR Bennett’s General Manager of Agronomics & Farm Technology
Sean is excited to be part of the GAR Bennett team and understands how water impacts Central Valley growers. From water quality to treatment and efficiency he states, “The major problems with untreated irrigation water are directly related to the poor water quality with high pH and the introduction to high bicarbonates.” Sean’s building a talented and powerful team of people in our automation, water treatment services and agronomy departments to deliver on GAR Bennett’s promise of helping growers feed the world.
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COMPLIANCE

WORKER SAFETY 

With temperatures reaching all-time highs in the Central Valley, our fire season has begun earlier, causing our air quality index (AQI) to exceed normal limits. Our worker safety team emphasizes the importance of researching the AQI before and during work, and if it exceeds 151, N95 masks are required. Cal/OSHA helps protect employees during these difficult heat waves to ensure water and shade are provided, and proper breaks are being respected. Safety is our #1 goal in the compliance department with owners and employees as well. For further information, please reach out to GAR Bennett today to keep your farm in compliance!
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FOOD SAFETY 

As our stone fruit growers continue their busy harvesting schedules, our food safety team has been prepping for the new GLOBALG.A.P. and PrimusGFS standards to implement new questions and guidelines later this year. Every few years, both auditing companies assess the schemes and add new questions to the already long audit process. This could be something simple like adding a few words to the grower’s hygiene procedure or as complicated as reaching out to each supplier for a third-party audit certification. With the ever-changing world of food safety, let GAR Bennett reduce the stress of creating new documents and give us a call today! Our consultants will help guide you through the entire process.
Click HERE to avoid hefty fines by contacting our food and worker safety teams.
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WHAT’S HAPPENING

National FFA Organization names 2021 American Star Finalists
By AGDAILY Reporters
TELUS Agriculture and Rabobank Acquire Conservis
By Business Wire
UC Davis Receives $6 Million to Promote Safe Pesticide Use
By Brian German, AgNet West