So Much for Putting Schools First
Amid an unprecedented economic crisis, special interests are pushing Prop 15, the split roll tax initiative (Schools and Communities First Funding Act), on the November ballot. However, Prop 15 contains no reforms to hold local politicians accountable. There is no guarantee that our tax dollars will be spent in the classroom.
Schools are the lowest priority in Prop 15. Only about 30% of the tax revenue generated from this initiative will go to our classrooms. On the other hand, about 70% of the new money goes to the state and local governments to spend however they want. Politicians can waste the new tax money on outside consultants, pay raises, retiree pensions and benefits.
Prop 15 prioritizes bureaucrats first and education last. By “putting schools first”, Prop 15 will destroy Prop 13’s property tax protections and be the largest property tax increase in California history. The initiative will raise taxes on business property, leading to higher rents for small businesses. Ultimately, Prop 15 will make income inequality worse by driving up the cost of living for just about everything we need and use, like food, utilities, daycare and healthcare.
GET THE FACTS HERE >

CROP PROTECTION

Almonds: We are finishing up post-harvest fertilizers. Burn down herbicides will be going on soon to keep berms clean in mature orchards and ensure an effective pre-emergent herbicide. Growers with younger trees may consider a tree-to-tree pre-emergent herbicide program as some noticed excessive weeds this season. Depending on Mother Nature, zinc burn off applications may be coming up soon. We are going over soil samples and starting to apply soil amendments.
Citrus: Gibb sprays are being wrapped up. Some growers are starting to pick earlier varieties. PCAs are walking bins, checking for scale, thrips and size. The copper fungicide treatment for Korea protocol needs to be done between October 15 – November 30. Be sure to talk with your packing house about what products may be used. PCAs have spotted a lot of fuller rose beetle this year. Continue to keep an eye out for this pest if it’s a problem in your fields. October typically comes with “surprises” of scale as it becomes more visible during this time. Be sure to consult your GAR Bennett PCA on treatment options.
Grapes: Late variety table grape growers are in the middle of harvest or just starting. GAR Bennett PCAs are seeing some mealybug activity. Now may be a good time to consider insect growth regulators to take care of juveniles. If not, mark your problem spots and address next spring. Raisins are in the middle of being picked up. Due to the smoky conditions, some trays have been on the ground for a month or more. This may create mold issues depending on the amount of moisture. Keep an eye on them and flip again if needed. Most wine grapes are off the vine. Some wine growers that haven’t picked are applying potassium sprays to get a jump in Brix levels. Dry on the vine (DOV) growers are ready to start getting fruit off the vine and into the bin. However, moisture level requirements for raisins were lowered to 14 or below before going to the packing house. Some growers will start applying soil amendments as soon as crops have left the field.
Stone Fruit: Growers are transitioning from harvest season to planning for 2021. October typically consists of analyzing the growing season, what went well or needs improvement, and planning our future varietal selections. Burn down herbicides are going on to clean up fields before leaf drop. Some growers are starting zinc sulfate sprays for leaf drop and to help facilitate pruning. If you are planning to tear out trees and replant, be sure to do some nematode testing. Weeds are transitioning to winter annuals.
Pistachios: Harvest is wrapping up and some growers are starting to spread soil amendments. Growers are blowing berms and spraying some herbicides to clean up weeds.
Walnuts: We are getting towards the tail end of harvest. If we get any rain, and conditions are favorable for Botryosphaeria (BOT), a fungicide application may be warranted. You may want to consider pushing back pruning to around Thanksgiving time where we have cooler average temperatures. Growers are currently applying burn down herbicides to clean up berms.
Tomatoes: Harvest is complete and groundwork has started for next year’s crop.
Dehydrated Onions: Harvest is complete. Growers are currently planning and starting groundwork for next year’s crop.
Cotton: We are working on our second shot of defoliation. It looks to be a good crop overall this year.
Garlic: We are at the tail end of planting. Growers are applying fungicides at planting for white rot. Some growers are also applying pre-emergent herbicides after planting.
Onions: Growers are in the middle of planting.

CROP NUTRITION

Fertigation-based Management Programs Can Maximize Nutrient Use Efficiency and Improve Crop Quality
contributed by Davin Clarke and Vanessa Vicencio of Yara North America
Liquid formulations of potassium and calcium nitrate can provide a balance of nitrogen, potassium, and calcium that is immediately available for most crops. Benefits include:
  • Fertilizer being applied directly to the root zone optimizing plant growth
  • Increased nutrient absorption by plants
  • Improved efficiency of mobile nutrients like nitrogen in the soil, minimizing losses while improving plant uptake
READ MORE
Irrigation Nitrogen Management Plans (INMPs)
Avoid state enforced fines by allowing GAR Bennett to help
In November, coalitions across the state will supply members with an INMP packet of information related to your crops. As a service, we at GAR Bennett can help you complete and certify your INMP and Summary Report on time.
Pricing for INMP assistance is based on the date we receive your completed packet of information:*
  • $250 if received by January 1
  • $350 if received after January 1
  • $500 if received after coalition March 1 deadline
*Additional charges may apply for incomplete or missing data
*Pricing is adjusted for late harvest crops, please inquire
For a full description of our INMP services, please contact: 
559.638.6311 | agronomy@garbennett.com
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Winterization Program
Is your system running at peak capacity? Does your irrigation system have issues like calcification or rust build-up? Rely on GAR Bennett for your winterization needs:
Service Includes:
  • Initial system evaluation
  • Water sample
  • Recommendation
  • Preventative maintenance
Benefits:
  • Irrigation system optimization
  • Fresh start for crop at beginning of season
For a full description of our Winterization Program, please contact: 
Matt Acosta | 559.904.7755
BEFORE WINTERIZATION:
Water taken from sand media tank with rust build-up.
AFTER WINTERIZATION:
Water taken from same sand media tank on GAR Bennett Winterization Program.

WATER SERVICES & TECHNOLOGY

Failure to Flush: Avoid future problems by maintaining and winterizing your irrigation system 
Growers are reaching the end of harvest season for some crops, which typically means last irrigations are being applied. As we plan to shut down our irrigation, it’s important to give our system a thorough maintenance check and prepare to winterize. Not sure how to get your system ready for dormancy? GAR Bennett has some key reminders to get your irrigation system in top shape for the next growing season.
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WORKER SAFETY

As the smoky air begins to clear, our attention has turned back to everyday safety trainings. Our worker safety team is working around the clock to make sure morning and night crews are up to date on all crop safety and industry standards. Pruning and power tool safety are a few of the more popular topics this time of year. Even the most experienced employees need a refresher course once a year to guarantee safety precautions are taking place. Our team has been taking multiple classes to ensure our training materials are current and applicable to each grower. Stay tuned for new training topics and exciting updates in the months to come!
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FOOD SAFETY

For the last three years, the food safety team has specialized in GLOBALG.A.P. to keep growers compliant with market driven demands. Recently, our first PrimusGFS audit took place in Delano, Calif., and the team had a preliminary score of 95%! Our team is excited to expand our expertise of food safety knowledge to all growers needing help in the ever-changing world of Good Agricultural Practices. With this new audit scheme being added to the list of services we offer, we are ready to add more growers to our program. In addition to GLOBALG.A.P. and PrimusGFS audits, it’s important to remember FSMA inspectors have been out checking harvest crews and farms to ensure food safety practices are being met. Reach out to GAR Bennett today for all up-to-date safety information!
Click HERE to avoid hefty fines by contacting our food and worker safety teams.
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WHAT’S HAPPENING

American Grown: My Job Depends on Ag, Season 2 coming January 2021.
American Grown highlights the stories of people in agriculture, giving a voice to multiple sides on important matters impacting the industry. The agricultural industry touches our daily lives far beyond the dinner table, and agriculturists around the Valley are once again ready to share how our lives depend on agriculture!
USDA Announces Early Release of Select Commodity Tables for USDA’s Agricultural Projections to 2030
By USDA
On November 6, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EST, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release select tables prepared for the upcoming USDA Agricultural Projections to 2030 report. USDA will post online tables containing long-term supply, use, and price projections to 2030 for major U.S. crops and livestock products, as well as supporting U.S. and international macroeconomic assumptions. The short-term projections from the October 9, 2020 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report are used as the starting point. – Read More
Important Labor Questions for Farmers and Ranchers
By Brian German, AgNet West
The ACP/HLB San Joaquin Valley Task Force is calling attention to the recent rise in ACP trap findings in Kern County. Over the last two months, there have been a total of 35 discoveries in the area. Twenty of the findings were in commercial citrus sticky traps. Up until now, it has been a light year for Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) discoveries. After a recent meeting, the task force wants the industry to understand the seriousness of the uptick in ACP trap finds. – Read More
New poll shows tight races for California propositions to change app-based driver rules, business property taxes
By John Myers. Los Angeles Times
A new statewide poll finds a sharp decline in the number of voters undecided on Proposition 22, an effort to designate drivers who work for app-based companies as independent contractors, but provides no clear hint at the outcome as election day nears. The poll also offers little certainty about Proposition 15, the plan to loosen California’s long-standing limits on commercial property taxes. – Read More