The best laid plans

I have a vineyard I’ve been consulting on for a number of years now in southwest Fresno county. When I first started there was a terrible problem with mites. The mites were out of control in the late summer and took at least two pesticide applications to control. The biggest issue contributing to the problem was dust. The vineyard is located near the main shop and main road in and out of the area. Traffic was heavy all around the vineyard, especially during harvest season when surrounding lettuce, tomatoes and onions dramatically increased the volume of trucks and labor moving through the area. It took some time and pushing but we finally got traffic rerouted and a water truck making frequent runs to keep the road wet to finally bring the dust issue under control. For a few years we were able to avoid a mite spray altogether. A few years ago a neighbor planted Almonds next to the vineyard. Hasn’t been a problem until this year the started farming them organically. The mites were not controlled with the organic pesticides and got so bad the started defoliating the trees. Finally the mites blew into the vineyard. So much for our balanced program. We sprayed the vineyard once but if the mites continue to blow in, we may need to spray again. Who says organic always decreases pesticide use?

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