Will California Farms Survive the Split-roll?
By Paul Dictos, CPA
On a hot August day, as I stood at the gate of the Stamoules Ranch in Mendota, California, a gentle breeze cooled my razor shaved head and ruffled the leaves of the Pistachio tree nearby. My long-time friend and fellow Greek Tom Stefanopoulos, a second-generation farmer, asked if California farms will survive this unprecedented economic and political crisis-aka-Split-Roll, listed as Proposition 15 on the November 3, 2020 ballot. When faced with tough questions, professional accountants have a simple answer – it depends.


CE courses look different this year as the switch has been made to online webinars. As such, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will not allow extensions on licenses should a grower fail to obtain CE credits.
In an effort to help our growers obtain credits, GAR Bennett is hosting four in-person CE courses.


Must RSVP by Monday, September 28 to 559.638.6311 or Sonia at [email protected]
*Please provide applicator license at time of RSVP
CREDITS ALLOWED: 2 Hours Laws & Regulation (same for all courses)
(same for all 4 courses):
Class: Permitting, Notice of Intents, Application, Mitigation Measures 
Marianna Gentert – Tulare County Deputy Ag Commissioner
Class: Paraquat – New label and regulations 
Judy Brant – Tulare County Ag Inspector III
Class: Ground Water Protection additions and changes 
Sam Conant – Tulare County Supervising Inspector IV
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the following safety guidelines will be required and enforced:
  • If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 7 days prior to the event, we ask that you please stay home.
  • If you are feeling ill, please stay home.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, please do so into your elbow and immediately wash your hands after.
  • Seating is for registrants who need CE credits ONLY. If someone is dropping you off or picking you up, we ask that they please remain in their vehicles for the duration of the event.
  • Masks are REQUIRED and may be removed after you are seated. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you.
  • A health check will be performed before entering, consisting of 4 health questions and a temperature check.
  • Social distancing required – we ask for everyone to remain 6 feet apart at all times.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided.
  • We will be seating one person per 6 foot table.
  • Touchless refreshments will be provided at each 6 foot table.
  • Room decontamination will be done between morning and afternoon sessions.
  • Index cards will be provided if you have additional questions for the presenters. These will be collected at the end of each course topic. Please do not approach presenters after sessions.
  • There will be no 15-minute break between course topics.
  • Please only leave your seat to use the facilities. Restrooms will be sanitized throughout sessions.
  • Please do not take phone calls during session time.


Almonds: Harvest is winding down for this crop. Monterey’s seem to be lighter per acre this year. Growers are planning their post-harvest fertilizer programs. Be sure to contact you GAR Bennett PCA about generic post-harvest options that are cost-efficient and maintain maximum yields for the following growing season.
Citrus: PCAs are keeping an eye out for late red scale as some blocks are being cleaned up. Gibb applications are right around the corner as we head into the end the of the month. Keep close contact with your packing house to identify which blocks should be gibbed. If you are exporting to Korea, the second fuller rose beetle application needs to be done if not already. We are also keeping an eye out for snails as they have been spotted in blocks with leaves on the ground. Some growers are cleaning up snails while others are waiting for it to rain. We’re still seeing some thrips on young trees. Consult your GAR Bennett PCA if this pest is an issue in your trees. Soil and tissue samples are being pulled.
Grapes: Growers are in harvest mode. It may be a good time to start discussing next year’s soil amendments and taking some soil samples to help plan your program. Raisin growers are having a hard time drying fruit due to the smoke-filled air and limited UV rays. You may consider getting a crew into the field to turn trays.
Stone Fruit: The season is winding down as we reach harvest on some of the later varieties. We are cleaning up weeds and applying fall fertilizers. When planning your nutritional program for next year’s crop, it’s a good idea to check tissue and soil tests. Some growers all already starting to prune.
Cherries: We are keeping orchard floors clean and spraying weeds as needed. If you plan on applying fall fertilizers, now is a good time to get them on. It’s important to keep the trees wet right now to avoid disease in the field.
Pistachios: Harvest is well underway and crop yields seem good so far. Some growers are spreading soil amendments on young trees and taking care of weeds on the berms. Damage from navel orangeworm (NOW) seems lower this year. However, if you’re coming in for a second shake you may need to look into some cover options. Soil and water samples are being pulled as we get ready for Irrigation Nitrogen Management Plans (INMPs).
Walnuts: Harvest has started for some growers while others are getting beds ready for harvest. PCAs are keeping an eye out for walnut husk fly. At this time, you may want to consider treatments for NOW. These may be mixed in the tank with Ethephon sprays. Please consult your GAR Bennett PCA on treatment options.
Tomatoes: We are nearing the end of this crop. PCAs are watching for mold on certain varieties and recommending fungicides as needed.
Dehydrated Onions: Harvesting is almost completed, only a few fields left to harvest.
Cotton: Defoliation is coming up in about 10-14 days. PCAs are continuing to watch for whitefly.
Alfalfa Seed: Harvest is completed.
Garlic: This crop is currently being harvested. Due to crop prices going up, we may see garlic plantings double on the westside next year.
Onions: We are getting ready for next year. Due to crop prices going up, we may see more onion plantings on the westside. Will be planted in October.


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.
Here’s how GAR Bennett can help you:
  • Access to GAR Bennett INMP Specialist/Certifier
  • Complete Irrigation Nitrogen Management Plan (INMP)
  • Complete Summary Report
  • Submission of Reports to Coalition
  • Repository of Historical Records
For a full description of our INMP services, please contact: 
559.638.6311 | [email protected]
Phosphorus in your Almond Fertility Program
contributed by Dylan Rogers of AgroLiquid
In agriculture, opportunity lies in focusing on factors we can control to ensure we make the best possible crop, regardless of what challenges are thrown our way. Understanding how phosphorus (P) fertilizers interact with other inputs and elements in the soil will help guide decision making.
Post-harvest Fertility and Irrigation Management 
contributed by Vanessa Vicencio and Allison Couch of Yara North America
As we approach the fall season in tree nuts and stone fruit, you might be considering what you can do for post-harvest nutrition. It is important to keep our foot on the gas to support optimal nutrient and carbohydrate storage. Fall nutrition and irrigation can have significant impacts on production potential for the following year. This is particularly relevant in a heavy crop year like 2020 in tree nuts. Research and findings from the Almond Board of California and the UC Cooperative Extension are great resources.


2021 Irrigation: Plan More, Stress Less
As we make the transition to post-harvest, it’s important to not only start planning your nutritional programs, but irrigation projects as well. Are you planting more in the following season? Is your system meeting crop needs? Whether it be irrigation design, construction or automation, the GAR Bennett team has you covered. Our experts can help you get the ball rolling before crunch time hits to start irrigating.


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!


The CDFA has recently added local inspectors from Fresno to their department due to a shortage of inspectors in the state. As a result, the chances of a Central Valley farm being chosen for a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspection is now more likely. Our GLOBALG.A.P. program has undergone a makeover to ensure every question that is asked in an audit or inspection is being covered. Our consultants are working with growers in the Central Valley to ensure the best and safest food is being marketed both domestically and in other countries. Last week, one of GAR Bennett’s growers underwent a FSMA inspection that only took 1.5 hours, when they usually take up to five! This grower was 100% compliant and passed the water regulation requirement as well. The peace of mind that comes with a full-service food safety program that covers requirements for packing houses, marketers and FSMA is worth the investment. Reach out to your GAR Bennett compliance team today for more information.
Click HERE to avoid hefty fines by contacting our food and worker safety teams.


Please join us in supporting Valley families struggling with hunger by donating to the 2020 Feeding Families Fund Drive!
Donations can be dropped off via touchless drive-thru on September 25th at The Market in Fresno from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., by phone on your GAR Bennett account at 800-696-6108, by mail to Central California Food Bank or online at ccfoodbank.org/garbennett. Every $10 feeds a family of 4 for a week and $40 could feed a family for a month! With GAR Bennett’s Match, your $40 grows to $60 and provides food for two additional weeks.
Federal Wildfire Reform Bill Has Initial Public Hearing
By B.J. Hansen, My Mother Lode
Washington, DC — A bill by Senator Dianne Feinstein is being endorsed by groups like the California Farm Bureau, the Tuolumne County Supervisors and Governor Gavin Newsom, and it is opposed by many major environmental groups like the Sierra Club. – Read More
Roma Tomato with ToBRFV Resistance?
By California Ag Today
Bayer announced today the final large-scale pre-launch trials of Roma-type tomatoes to help growers address Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV). The trials, which begin later this month in Mexico, will include two varieties of Roma-type tomato that claim Intermediate Resistance (IR) to ToBRFV. – Read More
HLB Solution Could Be Available in Three Years
By Ashley Robinson, AgNet West
University of California, Riverside (UCR) scientist Hailing Jin believes she has found a substance capable of controlling the deadly citrus greening disease known as huanglongbing (HLB). The potential cure Jin discovered is a peptide found in the fruit of greening-tolerant Australian finger limes, which have been consumed by humans for hundreds of years. – Read More