During the COVID-19 situation, GAR Bennett is considered an “essential business” due to our role in supplying the agricultural industry with crop protection, crop nutrition, irrigation and compliance needs. Therefore, we will remain fully operational. Our locations have a tremendous amount of product and capacity to meet your needs, and our team is working hard to keep our local food system running strong, our farmers in business and our communities and employees safe and healthy.
Currently, all GAR Bennett locations and retail stores are open for will-calls, parts and product pick-up. However, we ask that customers call ahead of time so we can pull orders and have them ready to bring to your vehicle when you arrive.
We consider our customers part of our family and are dedicated to supporting you throughout this unprecedented time. Please stay safe, be smart and know that together, we will continue to provide the world with a safe, abundant and affordable food supply.
Citrus: Pre-bloom nutritional sprays are currently underway. Watch for citrus cutworm, green fruitworms and katydids and treat as needed. Be sure to complete treatments before bloom gets too far along, especially if incorporating an insecticide to ensure bees stay protected. The Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner declared the beginning of the citrus bloom period for citrus growing in District 1 beginning at 1:00 a.m., Friday morning, March 27, 2020; District 2 beginning at 1:00 a.m., Saturday morning, March 28, 2020; and District 3 beginning at 1:00 a.m., Wednesday morning, April 1, 2020*. The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner declared the beginning of the citrus bloom period for citrus growing in District 1 beginning at 1:00 a.m., Saturday morning, March 28, 2020*. Some farmers are still applying herbicides and fertilizers but are wrapping up soon.
Almonds: Additional fungicides are being applied with continued rains. It’s advised to monitor for leaffooted plant bug (LFB) as there have been several reports of the pest being spotted. Applications for this pest are right around the corner and are typically completed by mid-April.
Table Grapes: With bud break underway and continued rains, it’s important to ensure the new crop tissue stays protected. We may consider treating to avoid Phomopsis with a combination of copper and sulfur or sulfur and ziram. Be sure to complete these applications before any rain event occurs to avoid the potential spread of Phomopsis.
Stone Fruit: Thrip sprays are wrapping up on nectarines as fruit sizing approaches. Applications for katydids are right around the corner for nectarines and some peach varieties as this pest generally shows up around mid-April. With the moist weather, keep an eye out for development of powdery mildew. It may be advised to apply sulfur (not on apricots) and a fungicide to prevent potential mildew spread. At this time in the season, a good nutritional program becomes essential to increasing pit size for greater fruit quality and size. We may consider developing a leaffeed program to assist with this process. Early bloomers are currently being thinned, but as the season progresses, we will soon need to focus on timing for nitrogen applications within the short window before fruit coloration. This is also a good time to clean up any young, tender weeds in the field left over from winter or early in the season. Heading into April, it’s important to assess your nutrient program. When your leaves reach full expansion, consider taking a leaf sample to get an early indication of your nutrient levels and address what adjustments are needed in your program.
Cherries: With the wet weather, mildew has become a major concern. Stay proactive and consider possible fungicides for control. We have also reached the threshold window for spotted wing drosophila.
Pistachios: It’s very important to get prepared for Botrytis applications in about 1-2 weeks. Be sure to have fungicides ready to help treat for this if needed. We are just starting to see buds push out and will begin preparing for fertilizer applications in the coming weeks.
Walnuts: Farmers are currently timing Retain applications on Serrs to assist with nut set. The recent rains have helped to knock down pollen which in turn helps to prevent pistillate flower abortion (PFA). The wet weather has also made catkins on Ivanhoes more susceptible to blight. Blight sprays are being applied to manage this disease. Tulares are just starting to break dormancy. Later in the first week of April, some blocks will be hit with Retain as well. Chandlers are still in dormancy. At this time, some growers are applying herbicides to help with weed control.
Garlic: Farmers are applying fertilizers and preventative fungicides for rust. A top dressing of 46-0-0 (Urea) is also being applied.
Onions: Like garlic, top dressing applications of Urea are underway. Herbicides are also being applied through sprinkler systems for late weed control.
Tomatoes: Crop transplanting is taking place as the weather permits.
BEE Aware of Neighbors During Applications
Visit beewhere.calagpermits.org and utilize the online resource to locate bees for spray applications. BeeWhere is a comprehensive apiary registration and notification program developed in collaboration with: The California Agricultural Commissioners And Sealers Association (CACASA), CAPCA, CDFA and The California Department of Pesticide Regulation. BeeWhere offers features for beekeepers, pest control advisors (PCAs), and pesticide applicators both through this web site and through participating software vendors.
Get the Most Out of Your Growing Season with Thermal Imagery
Don’t Waste Another Drop
Environmental concerns remain a top issue in agriculture. However, when conservation can help the environment and agriculture, it becomes a win for all. Recently, a grower in Buttonwillow, Calif. needed improvements to an existing irrigation system on 160 acres of pistachios. They wanted to use less water while generating more yield, but required funding to do so. The GAR Bennett team quickly assisted the grower in applying for a USDA NRCS grant.
GAR Bennett Technology Automates in Record Time
With major issues like labor shortages and a growing population facing the agricultural industry, it becomes essential to automate some traditional farming practices. Timing is everything in agriculture, and when you have the GAR Bennett team on your side, automation projects are a top priority in helping you farm efficiently.
A question several growers have been asking about COVID-19 is, “can this transmitted through fruits, vegetables or food packaging items?” The answer is no. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a statement on March 23, 2020 with the steps and precautions to handle this virus for the agricultural community. You can read more about the statement here. We are continuing to offer our food safety consulting services to our growers as the FDA still has inspectors out checking fields on large farms to ensure FSMA requirements are being met. Along with FSMA, our staff will assist you in GLOBALG.A.P. audits to meet packing house and market requirements. We practice social distancing by meeting in large areas, including fields and also adhere to the 6 foot distance guidelines. Leave the food safety stress to GAR Bennett and call today!
AMERICAN GROWN: MJDOA
he series airs Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. after Valley’s Gold. You can also stream the show online at americangrownTV.com.