It’s been a very busy season so far. We managed to complete the pruning this spring prior to the start of the spring growth. I don’t really know how as packing of the huge 2013 crop wasn’t complete until April. We narrowly missed some late frost damage from bud swell, through flowering into the calyx and fruitlet stage of the young pears. The 2014 crop set, while not quite as heavy as the 2013 crop, looks very good and the pears are clean, meaning very little marking due to frost or insects. Irrigation has been under way for some time now, and the use of micro jet technology placing a more accurate amount of water just where it is needed has made it somewhat easier as less water is needed to be drawn from our local water supply. I think the environment appreciates our efforts to stay at the front of the curve in many aspects of our farming operation. Our Integrated Pest Management program, initiated by my father in the 1960s before IPM was a common term, is going well. Through pheromone lured traps and pheromone emitters for mating disruption to confuse insect pest males, extensive use of beneficial or predatory insects, and constant monitoring, we have almost reached our goal of eliminating chemical pesticides.
Elsewhere on the farm the 1st crop of alfalfa is baled and in the barn, rain free. The 2nd crop is already two feet high. Two more weeks and I will be haying again by the middle of July. DARN! The vegetables, especially the sweet corn, are right on track with our July 19 opening of our on-farm fruit and vegetable stand. The cows are happy on the open range enjoying a very good grass year so far as the mountains in the area have had some nice timely rainfalls. The calves are growing like crazy.
All in all, it looks like another very good crop year if we can keep up with the work and the weather continues to cooperate.