Busy outstanding in my field(s)

It has been months since my last blog. Work keeps me busy and I find it hard to think that my seemingly mundane daily activites would be of interst to anyone. Maybe they aren’t. But I feel the need to talk about what I do so people can understand more about what goes on surrounding the production of their food. People say that people care. Do you?

This year started off very wet. It rained alot during the time the fruit and almond trees were blooming. Flowers produce the fruit and wet weather can cause fungus to grow on the flower and then they die. So, farmers spray crop protection products to keep that from happening. It is my job to know when to spray. Just because there has been rain forecasted doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spray. Fungus needs the proper temperatures as well. For the beginning of bloom the rains that came were associated with cold storms so we were able to avoid spraying. We did spray most everything two times. We still had some disease issues but those were acceptible and can be dealt with.

Now we are moving into May and the big “May spray” is upon us. Most of the fruit trees and grapes have worms that hatch out in May. So just about everything is getting some spray if the traps in the fields and past history suggested continued worm issues. For me, it is important to choose crop protection products that are reduced risk for workers and environmental reasons. There is a lot of labor going on right now. That needs to be a big factor in choosing what to use. We also have a long way to go and it is important that products are not what we call “disruptive” to the natural balence in the fields. We just want to keep the worms under control. We don’t need to kill every bug out there.

In other parts of the field landscapes, cotton, corn, tomatoes are all up and growing. Alfalfa has been cut once and is growing again, waiting for the second cutting. Pretty soon we will be dealing with pests in those crops as well. For the cotton and tomatoes, right now, it is keeping the weeds under control. Soon there will be other creepy crawlies. Stay tuned!

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