Some Crops Are Coming In, After
|Vern Crawford, a Kern County PC|
Vern Crawford, a long time
pest control advisor with Wilbur-Ellis (Shafter branch) spoke to California Ag Today about the goings on
in Kern County and elsewhere.
“The Upland, Acala type
cotton will soon be defoliated. Pima cotton fields are full bloom but we are
past any new bolls being made from the flowering branches. Defoliation for Pima
will begin in about a month,” Crawford said.
It’s full-on harvest of the
earlier pistachios, and Kern County almonds are about 2/3 harvested. All the
soft shells are at the huller and growers are now picking the hard shells.
“Dried black-eyed beans are
doing well. Traditionally, it’s good to
have them on the ground by October, as growers do not want to get caught with cold
rain and fog,” noted Crawford. “If
that happens, the bean grower is trapped and the crop will need to go to cattle
“And what a year for alfalfa
growers,” said Crawford. “In 2012 we hardly had to spray for anything, except
for the alfalfa weevils at the early cutting.”
In 2013, you name the bug and
it was a problem. “We had the Blue
Alfalfa Aphid that we could not get under control with the usual insecticides.
We think it’s a new biotype. We had some significant yield losses especially on
the first and second cuttings, which are the high dollar cuttings,” said
Crawford. “It was very bad in Imperial County, the Colorado River area, and
“We are looking for a Section
18 for Carbine from FMC, for next year’s hay season to control the Blue Alfalfa
Aphid,” noted Crawford.
“Then we had the western
yellow-striped armyworm for two cuttings, and now we are getting the alfalfa
caterpillar, the pea aphid, along with the cow pea aphid. So we have had a
lot of pressure on nearly every cutting this season,” Crawford said.
And almond growers saw
enormous mite pressure. “Some growers sprayed four times, which cost the
growers as much as $400 per acre. Normally it would cost under $100 per acre
with Agri-Mek or other products, which did not seem to work too well this
season,” he said.
“Then, inventory for some of
the materials was exhausted about mid-season,” said Crawford. “Some growers turned to the old standby
product, Omite, and got great results.
“In some fields, which were
simply out of control, we flew on some dusting sulfur. On those 100 degree days,
the sulfur fumed within the canopy and took care of the mites,” Crawford
Last year's costs were among the
cheapest in years for almond growers because of low pest pressure. However, this
year could have been the most expensive year; Crawford said some growers were
hit by the leaf-footed plant bug and stinkbug. “And everyone was worried about
Navel Orangeworm (NOW) after getting hit hard last season. This year, some
growers came through with three applications for NOW,” he said.
Labels: 2013 California cotton crop, alfalfa weevil, almonds, big mite pressure, Blue Alfalfa Aphid, leaf-footed bug, mites, Navel Orangeworm, Shafter, Vern Crawford, Wilbur-Ellis