CROP PROTECTION

Citrus: PCAs are walking bin lines checking for fruit quality, quantity and size. Right now, GAR Bennett’s advisors are seeing a little bit of red mite, katydid, cutworm and orangedog. Talk with your GAR Bennett PCA about the best plan of action to combat these pests.

Stone Fruit: The recent round of rain may have growers considering one more round of fungicides with later blooming varieties. Bloom started off fast and furious in January with the warmer weather. Cooler nights helped slow the progress and it looks like it will be a normal season with bloom ending in mid-March. Fertilizer and nutrition sprays are important right now as growers watch and combat thrips. The key for stone fruit: the bigger the pit size, the bigger the fruit, meaning a more premium product.

Pistachios & Walnuts: While trees are still dormant, it’s a good time to prune if you haven’t already. You may want to keep an eye out for mealybugs, get your codling moth traps up and consider applying any necessary blight or pre-emergent spray. Should be a good season!

Almonds: Orchards are in full bloom; recent rain means more fungicides may be needed along with bloom sprays. There may be an opportunity for herbicides as well. Trees are vulnerable to diseases right now. GAR Bennett PCA’s are beginning to monitor for leaffooted plant bug (LFB).

Grapes: Bud break is starting on grapes; it may be time to talk to your GAR Bennett PCA about Phomopsis sprays. Another spray may be necessary due to the recent rain to protect plant tissue.

Tomatoes: Transplants are starting. Keep an eye out for darkling ground beetles. These pests will attack seedlings and feed on foliage.

Garlic & Onions: Fields are growing nicely and we are finishing up applications. Fun fact: Garlic is one of the healthiest foods on earth. In WW2 it was given to soldiers as medicine. Onions have been a part of the human diet for more than 7,000 years.

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.
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CROP NUTRITION

Early Spring Tree Nut Nutrition
contributed by Devin Clarke and Vanessa Vicencio of Yara North America
While the rainfall is critical for crop growth and development, the acidic nature of winter rains can leach positively charged mineral ions in the soil. The pH scale represents an increase in hydrogen ion concentration on the acidic side (<7.0) and an increase in hydroxyl ion concentration on the basic side (>7). On the soil colloid surface where mineral ions are exchanged into the soil solution, the positively charged hydrogen ions from rainfall can displace and with the help of gravitational water movement, leach essential minerals such as zinc, potassium, and calcium. The end result is reduced availability of these nutrients early in the spring. Consider this when planning out your bloom and petal fall sprays.
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WATER SERVICES

Spring came early this year and the GAR Bennett water services team is busy designing, bidding and installing projects from the Imperial Valley to Napa. The team also offers maintenance and repairs to existing systems that laid dormant through the winter.
Just because we are busy, doesn’t mean we don’t have time for more!
The February ice storms in the southwest shut down resin plants, making supply of irrigation pipes and hoses limited. But when a South Valley grower needed five miles of pipe and irrigation in less than a week, the GAR Bennett team used its long-time supplier relationships to make it happen (even with the limitations).
Don’t put yourself on the defense, play offense. Now is good time to look 12-24 months out and think about your water and irrigation projects for the future. Give our GAR Bennett team a call today for expert service and support.
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COMPLIANCE

WORKER SAFETY

Though pesticide safety is the most requested topic this time of year, we want to remind growers about other important trainings that can be incorporated into your program. If you send your crop to a packing facility, the probability of needing to follow their food safety requirements is quite likely. Our trainers are up to date on all topics required to help pass your GLOBALG.A.P. or PrimusGFS audit. This includes employee hygiene, equipment safety and more. Our worker safety team works closely with GAR Bennett’s food safety consultants to ensure each requirement is being met so expiration dates are managed ahead of schedule. If you need specific trainings for unique equipment or crews, reach out to GAR Bennett’s worker safety team today to help build a program around your farming entity.

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FOOD SAFETY

With citrus season still in full swing, the food safety team continues to follow through with its 100% success rate on audits. When growers realize the importance of staying in compliance with packing house requirements, they are quick to learn their fruit will be picked at a higher priority due to increased demand. Having certified fruit allows marketers to enter domestic and oversea markets. The European Union is one of the most desired export markets and requires growers to have a GFSI recognized certificate, such as GLOBALG.A.P. GAR Bennett’s food safety team is trained to help growers walk through each process of a food safety audit while getting you certified. This includes chemical room inspections, fruit and water testing, and Farm Labor Contractor assessments. Don’t let the stress of a food safety program force you out of farming; let the GAR Bennett team maximize your profit by getting certified today!
Click HERE to avoid hefty fines by contacting our food and worker safety teams.
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WHAT’S HAPPENING

Are You Watching Season 2 of American Grown: My Job Depends on Ag?
The series airs Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. on Valley PBS. You can also stream the show online at americangrownTV.com. American Grown highlights the stories of people in agriculture, giving a voice to multiple sides on important matters impacting the industry.
President Biden Proclaims March 23 National Ag Day
By Tyne Morgan, Ag Web
Ag Groups Challenge Additional $4 an Hour ‘Hero Pay’
By Brian German, AgNet West
Assemblyman Patterson Announces 23rd Assembly District “Woman of the Year”
By Assembly District 23