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Brad Johnson


Brad Johnson

Owner and Operator of Wooley Farms in Gridley, CA



  • January 17, 2019
    4:00 PM


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Every human being created in the image of God is in power in Daoud with a power akin to that of the Creator individuality the power to think and to do I give this as a springboard to express what each we each have we each have our own God given individual thinking and ability to use meaning there are a lot of individual details in your particular circumstances glean what you can from this and many other sources and apply them to your just because I do things a certain way doesn't mean it will be the same for you it sometimes takes years to decide certain ways to do things based on circumstances crops speccing money farming philosophy education to name a few because there are so many avenues to go down with this topic of orchard eating I plan to go through my seasons for sugar plums or prunes fall winter spring summer and certain basic aspects of crop production for those I'm leaving out many details to look at mainly field operations there is not enough time to go over all aspects I recommend you use your local university extension office or egg advisor in your area for research if you have one and filter that with your own knowledge and ideas and of course now there are so many resources available online for data it's hard to miss getting lots of information but also misinformation so find someone that's experience in your area for your particulars visit other farms and farmers in your area even where I live what I do may not translate exactly to someone who farms. In the dirt in the foothills 15 miles away from my place many times but many times I think much of what I do is simple enough to be called farming for dummies at least that is how I feel about certain aspects of what I do I wanted to see what I present may not satisfy your interests or needs in particular I will try to give you give this short enough keep this short enough to give time for questions I'm here to serve and share within the realm of my experience but a little note in regard to sugar plums and the prune interchange so some of you may know this but within the prune industry we were kind of having an image problem and so the marketing group said do people like prunes better or dried plums better and so they really did this they went to the went to the can you know the consumers and they said and I know exactly how they did but they let him they said he try these do you like these because these are prints or try these these are these are dry plums and they generally like dried plums better. And same think so we changed the name throughout the industry only in the United States what I understand I think as a country skip So we've always as a growers have always called improves so I kind of stumble back and forth between sugar plums and dry plums and prunes and so you'll hear me mostly calling prunes probably and you can you hear me call and almonds Ammons because that's what I grew up in Northern California called mammoth so and there's another thing about that I could tell you sometime if you want to really know the truth. So anyway here's. On the tree off the tree the trees and then the dried fruit you know so I mean I'm going to talk about these you know there's there's too many like the lady that came here that wanted to ask about fire blight on apples I mean there's only so many things travels I can go down roads I go down to talk about I don't know everything Believe it or not so I farm with organic production methods which has its benefits and downsides as conventional egg does as well I'm just showing what I do you I'm not disparaging anyone's particular methods there's a wide range of tools and methods if you aren't tied to any particular set of production market rules this is a picture of conventionally grown California Peaches I help my brother produce these in a separate operation from mine and you can see an award we received in 2017 this is as it states awarded annually to recognize the association member with the highest quality delivers Reis statewide and these are our peaches so you can see you can use many methods to produce a good crop Anyway after harvest I will put on at least one or maybe 2 or geishas I will then take out trees that are dead or push out a whole orchard if I'm starting a new one and prep the ground before the winter rains start so hearing just see this is my grandson and granddaughter there helping me open the canal valve to to the field sometimes we get dead trees got to take out and this is one or tools we use to push out brush the fields. Generally if I'm starting a new orchard I will plan a rotation crop for a season. Or even a few years that will be something like wheat safflower hay or perhaps a vegetable crop then I will be back to riff level them for my ground for an orchard during that time I can pull soil samples and add amendments and plan my irrigation system is going to ward so here this is a crop I planted grass hay in the summer as a roquet rotation out of a vegetables before I was going to plant. Prunes back and here we grow wheat is one of our wheat crops this is a pretty common tool in our area of use for after ever an orchard comes out to rip the roots and loose in the soil. And these are some of the deep root of the river blades that go down the soil this is a small tool that I use for putting in grass seed that's what I planted this with well I mean it just wet MISMO me it's made to put that grass seed just just barely in the dirt and it's not I mean it's the only use whatever it is if the area is large I will use a local surveyor to layout my orchard grid and an irrigation supplier to plan my irrigation system which is important to calibrate if you're going to into a drip irrigation type irrigation neither one is needed new meaning neither visors need if you have enough time and knowledge and I do a combination of both because many times I'm putting together systems to suit my particular needs. And circumstances So here here's just a I know you can probably see that we cable we put a marker on here with a little center net and marker with a ribbon and put those on our on a cable maybe I don't know 10200 feet long and this is our tree spacing We'll put that on there and then we mark our painter stakes white so we can see him in the field this guy's help me lay out the field he he's a surveyor and he just makes our main grid and then we come back with this we stretch between the main grids and we use a group of people and we we come in and we put in our stakes at these markers and then we do the whole field that way we we don't he's not out there all time helping his sake we just we just have to put in like you know the 100 or $200.00 foot markers and we stretch across and mark each tree and then these help us see it and then this disarray nice tool that I use it's a 5 point Ripper that just a loose and ground rope crop Usually I use that but it's a really good tool for loosen up your soils my own abt adaptation to suit my needs as an example I recently set up a drip irrigation system that was all buried irrigation lines so I can mow and control weeds without hoses or emitters to get in the way. Though most of my organ is flood type from a canal system I will show you which I'll show you later this just as an illustration so I've done all my calibrations we only needed a 4 inch pipe rather than say a 12 inch pipe to run might and this is a pressure system so we've we've figured out all our system it's all on a piece of paper but we now we're doing all this field work and it's all calibrated based on our flow how much water we need for tree what size pipe and this main tubing were so what I did I don't know anybody else doing this but we have all our trees marked out here you can see the where the stakes are right now bit and then we went back and we just we have the full tool we shank in all our drip line so this just we feed this into the a little tube and it drove drills and in the ground say 7 to 10 inches deep and I just was having fun out there but. Part Is that what you want to get and hang up and rip your your tubing on the ground so that we just barrel are all our lines and then this next little bit is kind of my unique application prime primarily for we control and while my trees are young as my trees are older I prefer to move to a different system of irrigation for more for a more beneficial to the long term biological system of production that I use so after my lines varies you can see there's my very line and I'm just looking it's big 82 but up and running it over by my tree this is a little ways from the tree say like this and we've built this so then these these little tubes are made by a company in anger in California and they're called by come as D.R. I I think deep rooted are a Geisha and I use these to so I cause because I can bury him under the ground and I don't get root infusion. And then I just have a pressure conversation emitter that I put in there that that that regulates my flow how much I'm putting on per hour per minute or whatever size it is way some pressure and then I measure the depth how deep I want it and I built this little jig so I could just. Put him into a same angle on every tree the same distance from the tree so I knew exactly when I came back although I forgot that summer and I ran a shovel right through and so I came back to dig something up and I'd cut my line so that's one of the disadvantages but but then I know exactly where my stuff is and every tree's the same and I've got my everything's under the ground so I like that but not forever. It takes me time to think through all all aspects of how I'm going to manage things from row spacing soil type pruning styles rootstocks and equipment I'm going to use for tree size and the kind I'm planting For example most of my prune orchards are between 16 and 20 feet apart I can get away with a narrower spacing in the row if most of my equipment is driving through the whip so in the row I may make it 16 feet and 18 or 20 for the whit my Wallace replace 24 by 28 but that's not a fast hard and fast rule tool so I do that's allow room for a bigger tree use of sunlight is also a major factor so filling the space well but not too much because you want to have sunlight even to the orchard floor. So a lot of those factors are based on tree size and because wants to always get the same size prune trees pretty much do so you can don't vary that that much I consider more with another quit such as harvesters to allow room and efficiency of time as much as possible so for example this a 12 foot mower I've got a 10 foot 9 foot a template in a 6 foot This is the biggest one I have so I get this through most all of my fields in the in the with row. A wall Harvester this is a little bit longer link this is a pro in our research we used to harvest the brooms and union of with the drive through of course from this way we can get by with about a probably a 15 foot spacing here but there's other reasons we don't do that and then you need enough space this way to get this deflector down between the trees. So prone you know you can plant a little tighter sometimes and this is the picture of our road facing here is a tractor goes down in my area when planning a new orchard I will hire a laser level or to set my slope regardless of type of irrigation because I want the winter rains to flow off the field not just the summer irrigation so as not to have wet pockets that will potentially kill the trees and especially if the soil types are heavy and hold water usually I am putting a one to 2 percent grade depending on soil type that's one to 2 percent. Say it's a tensor to transfer for hundreds. See depending on Sol type and and crop and link of run as well as falsely some other factors alfalfa for example needs a steeper grade to avoid standing water which can kill it in the summer time will wintertime to. Your soul type will often determine what type of crop or tree type or root stock you will plant prunes will tolerate heavier soils more clay than peaches cherries and warrants for example and within those varieties certain rootstocks are better than others for example in one part of my wallet's I have a planted I planted a root stock that will tolerate water soils because in that particular part of the field it has more clay in this case you can see it is a laser level or this is not my equipment I hardest guy to come in and it has a sending unit would set up on a tripod outside the field since a laser beam across the receiver and that adjusted the bucket up and down to the exact precise place you want that field to be cut or field and then that way we get a precise slope on our field almost exactly and then you know this one the reason you want to do it because in the winter time we had a big storm come through and we weren't prepared for it but this is what we had in this in our row crops some more vegetables and it just you know you've got to get this water off and so that's why you want to slope your field in winter time so we've done that since this but this is this is supposed to run around and go out with this game it's so so fast so quick you just didn't have time runoff. I will do most of my tree planting prep in the fall after harvest before the winter rains. I like to have a crumbly fairly dry soil when I do this so it errors out and it doesn't pack for re plants with an existing orchard I will back hoe out dead trees and roots in a 4 to 5 foot hole or deeper and add whatever dressing I have or I consider needed at that time in my case we lies are our horse manure or compost or something of that nature if you have determined any other type of amendments you need this will be a good time to incorporate them I add this material in as I backfill the whole and let it and then I let it rest probably for several months I will not plant any trees until later in late winter or early spring when the soil and weather is right for bare root trees not to wet the exception is part of trees I like to plant those in the fall and it realize I'm in California so we have dry summers but in the fall say like oh October a lot of these pot of trees are available that's relatively new I'll show you the this next slide has potted these are the pot of trees I use as this like a little sleeve that's tapered is not the big buckets like in the nursery and in the box stores so it's it's ready to go on the ground and so I will plant those in the fall to let them get go into the winter dormancy So they're not drying out too quick if I if you plan in the spring all that that root is trying to draw a moisture just out of that little pot and you even those in the ground it's all those doing use is still sucking the water just the little people is hasn't acclimated to the soil so it'll dry out just in a few days and especially for planting even in the fall when it's warm and so I have to keep that well arrogated in the fall and maybe a day or 2 LP of water give and this is how the whole field and so then you then after that winter rain start it goes dormant and then that in the spring it just is ready to go right into the parent soil. And come right out and spring is in full blast if you plant enough in the spring and it goes into the summer heat is trying to get that water is not acclimated to the soil yet and you're trying to irrigate trying to bring it back and it's just you'll have a harder time if you do a pot of soil potted plant in that's kind of conditions so I try to plant my pot of ones in the fall which I've only done part of toils plots for probably a couple seasons of the you know 50 years in now we're just starting to those little bit bare root is typically what I would do and I could get part of this last fall so I planted very I'll be planting bare root probably this spring or that was year ago so well bare root you don't get in till the nursery digs him so you would go ahead and. You know I don't they wouldn't probably ready tell till I get home you know probably maybe they maybe because all me now is 8 but then I've got a way for dry weather the ground to dry out and then I'll just I'll plant I'm sitting around drive there is not dry enough I put him in cold storage and I I've planted bare root trees latest July and still got good results but that's because around what prepped we had we prepped around late we didn't get done till spring and and it just put us way off so. I usually plant bare root in soon as of moisture is good in the spring and then they they push right away and the parents or all their parents roll around the roots you Berryman parents oh and it just goes right away and they take all and these you'll see some trees I planted this last spring not maybe not really good pictures but oh so anyway this is just my butt we're back on out the trees pretty self-explanatory and we're reading our composter where we want to put in the soil back and we'll backfill now as we just put you back in and add what we want to that time so it's not a big hole it's pretty crumbly and is this days like this for a long time until the rain settled down and the roots get a good chance to get into that loose soil in the spring so throughout the winter and spring I start printing trees this is my daughter Elise She's here with me today she's doing some pruning and this is some experimenting I'm doing with a flamer for we control I found this to be helpful at very specific timing usually after harvest after the 1st rain before the leaves fall and although I had good success although I had a good success in a very tight 3 day window when the conditions are right this winter just a few weeks ago. I only use this in my wall of orchard next to the trees partly because of the need to have a fairly clean orchard floor for harvesting walnuts and I have mostly annual weeds there controlling perennials it is is expensive and not as effective with this method I have found this to be effective for an you'll see just after the weeds for out when there's no fire hazard I did this in the summer I'd be burning out my orchard. Even in the fall this was 2 years ago even in the fall the heat coming up into the leaves scorched the leaves. When I was doing as and this is the 1st year I had her try to do it one other time just a few about 3 weeks ago and I really like it it's worked very well for me. For harvest for keeping the weeds off over off the berm so this is a simple example of early pruning techniques I use a 30 to 36 inch just for the trunk and then a 368 to 10 pattern for my scaffolding which I will try to explain when I 1st plant a tree I will print off all the limbs and cut the tree off about 30 to 36 inches this will form the truck after the 1st year's growth as you see here I will select 3 main scaffold branches and cut them back the 1st few years my intention is to form the tree you can prune a longer and link and it will produce earlier fruit but it may not be as strong of a framework so this is the same field this is earlier in the spring when I planted a tree cut off all dams and I just cut it off here I used to cut about waist high and just and then this is where the cut was made and then it pushed out all these limbs and then I selected 3 out of that and I cut those back and I just try to balance it around the tree though this is the this is the cut you see this cut right here that's this cut right made right here. So although everything's come off the tree it just looks like it'll stick standing out there and that's the mistake a lot of people make in fact I bought I couldn't find cherry trees of years back and so I just went down to the big box store and they had cherry trees and they were like 10 feet tall and I don't want you know cherry trees you really got to prove them hard to get and push out and so I brought that thing home had leaves and everything is in a pot in the wrong time a year but I thought OK I'm going to try this and of course I just do my rare thing I take that 3 this and that's what you need to do easier if you don't unless you want some long stick you can't pick I just cut it off and then it pushes out all the branches down below where you want to just let's in start your new tree and that's what this is basically just start right away that way so this is the Secondly so that 3 that I had on the other slide these are the 3 right here so now I'm going to select 2 off each of those so here's my description here I'm continuing the framework of 6 the next 6 limbs plus or minus to continue the structure of the tree 2 from each of the 3 limbs a year before gradually opening up the tree the next year I will select limbs from those to make 8 to 10 limbs from my main structure in this process I keep in mind to encourage the growth and direction of my main limbs I will not select 2nd their limbs from these below my shoulder mainly because those will be in the way of a tractor tire and harvesters as we move through the field as a tree continues to go up it to full height I will then put a galvanized wire tree wire around the whole tree to keep it from breaking and falling apart as it loads up with fruit so I'm just taking those tree and I'm dividing it evenly around this much the can and I'm opening it up because I want to get sunlight in the middle of the tree as it grows as well so this was the this was the same tree here right here to here and I just pruned out all that other junk that was in there and left it moved and then I just from little longer. And then this is the 3rd leaf so this one grew out not the same tree I don't think that this grew out and then I did the same thing I took off those of those 6 then I'm taking 88 to 10 of those and continue my truck in my tree on up and when it reaches full height that's when I'll wrap it with a wire and that holds the tree from falling apart as it open as it loads of fruit do that with peaches to WALLACE We don't tie we just tie peaches and prunes So that's that's just a basic it's just kind of fun you want to I'd like to give you some instructions on pruning I enjoy printing. Not that I'm I just do my own thing but that's what is so in the winter and early spring when planting trees this is very root I'm just digging a hole with shovels big enough to place the tree because I've already done most of all my major tree hole prep earlier in the fall in the case of a whole field we have done all of our deep ripping and soil prep ahead of time at planting time I'm just fine tuning nutrients and using a well placed high quality compost as well as beneficial soil bacteria mix with a liquid compost tea I'm currently using perfect blend compost and a bacteria blend from growth products and a tea from converted organics in my case I place the strongest roots to the southeast because of prevailing winds in our area I try to put the curvature of the bud union to the west to minimize sunburn I'll try to scribe that to you and generally plant a tree the same ground level as the nursery then I cut the tree off at the level I want my 1st limbs for tree scaffolding to develop and completely whitewash the tree to prevent sunburn so. I know you can't see the but so this is B. You can't see the blood union but it's a subtle thing because you have to balance Where's the root Where's of blood when union it's not going to be perfect every time we try to but if by Windsor at my place of Windsor come from the south southeast so I want the strong roots there so when the bloom the winds blow it'll hold that trees better in the ground. The bud union just as a factor of our he comes from the West as a sun setting so I want to I want to turn that bud union into the sun not away from it because anger will burn quick easier quicker but white washing to make up the difference for that a lot of times this is a little feature that we used to plant trees if you've never seen it this very simple we just cut the Dodgers in a board so when we we take we pull our main stake that's where a tree or a stake was so when we pull that we dig a hole we will know where to put the tree back so we just pull the steak we move it over here one we add a new steak over here and this is not what we plant a tree we just place our tree in that notch where the stake was that way we know all of our trees are lined up straight the way they used to be just for independent planter that you keep your rose lined up and so here we're adding some nutrients little bit as we're planning. These are apricot in this case potted trees foot in some tea and then this is a group of school kids that we had out one day we're showing what we're doing that was kind of fun. Whitewashing is important to prevent sunburn which can cause secondary troubles with insect damage these trees are coming out of the nursery from close quarters and then being placed in a single tree as a single tree in full sunlight so they need some protection the 1st year or 2 a water based latex paint is adequate but organic methods I use a material called surround which is basically white collate kale and Clay and I mix it with a sticker like no full new film P. But I will try to put it on after the winter rains because it does it does not stay on as well as regular pain if you are not tied to organics a latex paint is simple safe and effective So here you see sunburn and this is you know we do this all our trees out here in the winter I take inventory of what materials I haven't planned for already materials I may need I calculate amounts and cost and colored in the calendar them as best I can consider and I consider any changes and improvements for my orchards and consult with advisors about my plan I attend trade shows and an educational simmers like this one I service and maintain equipment I have a running list of notes and ideas to plan and consider for my operation also I usually apply this is just a secondary part of this the I usually apply a delayed dormant spray of oil to help control scale aprons or might. I use what is called an organic for 40 or will a delay dormant is close to bloom close to and before the bloom because the staff is moving into the tree and there is less chance of burning the tree with oil and the insects are more susceptible to control then during popcorn stage or about 5 percent blooms and full bloom or about 10 days apart or use a small amount of oil about one percent solution and a bacteria called BT or Brazil's turn genesis for peach would bore. He would use that for Oriental fruit moths and peaches and treat peach tree bore be using these methods these That's what I do anyway I'm all I'm also trying to I'm trying biological materials for Blossom brown rot fungus I'm trying some of these types of natural components some of which are fungus bacteria and viruses that are detector mental to some pests. Here you can see the names of few of these and do your own research to see if they are fit for use some of these are prevented of on my part but this does not exclude my longer term plan of soil and plant nutrition and cultural practices to provide a way to take care of and minimize these problems we also monitor certain insects by trapping during the season to give us an indication of what the insect populations are and when they're had Ching and flying to give us an indication of what may be going on in the field with certain pests. So these are just a few things have come out recently that are this is a pig weed extract. This is a like garlic oil in global oil and this is orange oil and this is a fungus here this is a bacteria of course some of it this is a combination of bacteria is this is a. How to peroxide in. Acetic acid. Kills fungus and bacteria and instantaneous no residue. This is just a picture of summer from Blossom so. One other thing along this I was going to mention is some of the systems I'm using have created some dynamics that have been really helpful one is we have a really huge population of back. And calling was one the big problems in wallets and of course apples and our bet population I think is what's been keeping my apples clean because we've had we have laid out bills that have I don't do apples for production but I have a late some late apples and I don't have any worms in him and I'm calm attributing that because it's a huge bet populations and we put up that bad houses and those are actually I think the ones we have if they really were full would of holding were in $612.00 and are bats each we've got a large population of bats in places I don't want them because they're pretty messy too so I've been working on trying to move them out to the bat houses and they've been gradually migrating and moving into the house of them hoping to keep them there so that's been funded see now I don't know how much so I'm just kind of little diversion here but in the systems I may bring it up later I don't really made much mention of it in the systems of pests there's lots of natural controls that we miss because we don't observe them and I was telling Mr Clinton here the other day I said you never see what you ever see toad terse you know what Toad turds are anybody see know what Toad turds are at least so my daughter that's amazing because toad turds are huge turds but as they can be about as big as your little finger and toads have habits they all go out and be walking at night and there they are they come out at night and they're hop pop pop and they're already in in 6 So those are my nighttime feeders on the ground lizards are my daytime feeders on the ground swallow's are my daytime feeders in the in the sky they fly all day long just working on bugs and bats are my nighttime feeders yellowjackets huge benefit. You know like I don't like him in my face but I like him in the field they feed on worms they see when I have tomatoes they're feeding and getting young for food meat for their for their young or where they do with them I know maybe there's eaten for food I don't know so there's a lot of these things going on and this in a way I'll talk about some of these things maybe down the road here but as things wake up and dry out in the spring I begin chopping brush morning down cover crops applying for lies or some plant from my perch irrigation timing the 1st year gauge and sometimes is the most critical depending on weather and eventually will set the pace in the calendar plus or minus more or less for irrigation I'm really surprised you don't know what toters look like. That still baffles me so anyway this is. My choppers child's behavior brush and stuff this is Bush HAUGAN and this is one I'm working on to to bring the grass down a little tighter. With many years on the same soils so I've been farming the same ground all my life and testing with instruments like a pressure bomb that measure exact tree needs and also using uv apparatus Vampyr transpiration rates for plant needs based on weather as well as physical soil testing with this hand auger we have determined when to irrigate Now it sounds like a mouthful but in California we've been cut back on our water and we've somewhat been made to really major water fairly well if we have to but also with the variance in scheduling water with the water district there's a range of variation timing but still there are critical in a rules for water to avoid fruit cracking and water stress for the tree and to have good fruit development in my case for my area and this crop having good more Easter in the soil at the end of June and July are important there are growth stages for this crop those are growth digits for this crop depending on your system you can fine tune your tree water needs to very precise timing. Here I can give you general information you will need to research your own particulars but I am sure the information is there in California we have evapotranspiration sites around the state that measure water for use in real time for grass then you can convert it to your particular crop or situation for example with drip you can manage the crop needs for 2 to down to the everyday if desired and put on timers for example which is what I do for a drip drip drip system if you want more information there are websites where you can plug in your own data make calculations based on your particulars which can give you information on irrigation timing now you can control things with phone apps and timing at your fingertips if you want to get that sophisticated so you can have electric valves you can turn on and off with your phone and it will give you readouts of when it needs water probably getting automated I don't know I haven't got that but I do some of some things I do I use this I use a system so this is a just an example of they're measuring the use of grass and then you're taking that information of what that uses on grass converting it to corn or wallets or peaches or prunes for the size of the tree in the soil you're in and the air you're in and then I you have you can go on to websites and actually put in all your information in it will give you a calculation of what you're using and then you have to know your crop what stage of growth is how much water to using every day and that gives you that everyday stuff and then this this of a former advisor that was helping me. Test my trees this is called a pressure bomb and it's actually like kind of like checking your blood pressure your tree it actually takes at least to let the leaf off put it in this pressure chamber and it puts pressure against until that little mortar comes out of the stem and then you measure that pressure it reads a pressure and then you write that down and it it tells you with that 3 is needed water. If it's under stress is pretty accurate pretty accurate and so we're doing that to gage I was doing this a few years back just to gauge when to start my 1st irrigation because we were limited on water and I don't want to start too early of my tree to need it but I don't want start too late and I'm stressed so we were just doing this and then this is this just a little pretty simple tool I really like this if I'm just going to go on really what's going on down there I'll just take this auger in case my daughter she did it I said here's a Swiss go check to check the dirt so she sees one crank in that thing and so anyway and then go down just kind of check to see where you were more troops get an idea that way it's the so here just flood irrigation so this is just a lot of migrations off the canal so I'm just open the valve on the canal it's running through a pipeline through my field open a valve there and then I just let it flood through the field or put it in a gated pipe in this case when we're doing the grass hay and then we just let the water run down the field. Through these gated several gates about every 3040 inches if we can is open the water out of that. Or we can open it to head ditch and inside in across. That's kind of the old style we do that still we do that and then we have a little ditch pump you can pump out of some of the shell Adichie we have that just lets the water little ways in up to the field so as a add in as an add in fertiliser component I prefer to use high quality a glowing chicken manure drier compost and because of the balance nutrients and high protein content I like a compost I get from a company called perfect blend. But a compost plant can come with some downsides if you're needing some particular nutrient and not others because it comes as a package I had this situation because of some of my schools are already high and phosphate this is where not being tied to an organic market rule may be of benefit because of with conventional fertilizers you can often pinpoint your nutrient needs and have a clean material to use ice think use well judiciously and scientifically This can be a good option when fertilizing with manures I apply with any manure before the 120 day rule before harvest we also use our horse manure and thence stored in the summer during the no apply months for later i am i personally am working with more biological processes in my farming to accomplish my end results and I also have been having some good results with cover crops as well results come at a slower pace and will not and with not being able to fix something as quickly in my case I use Whitmarsh McConnell's recommendations and services he is at this conference and the soil balancing process is he is promoting I take soil leave samples and use university science research as well I get calculations of what I think is needed for the plant and soil needs and with the recommended materials and rates along with my own ideas within my budget I make application starting in the spring and early summer along with this something I find helpful is to put on micronutrients or smaller amounts of nutrient nutrients recommended in this process along with the big spreader for example I get recommendations I go wow how my going to do that he went so I need. 10 pounds of boron for acre and that's you know and then I need some manganese and then whatever else iron or something and it's in smaller amounts and I'm thinking I'm going to spread this over a large area and I'm going to go out there and just what hand spread. You know so I can get 20 pounds a week or whatever or you know what it was 50 pounds or whatever it is and you know those small amounts are hard to manage and it's been little bit a little bit discouraging because I don't really want to do this because how I'm going to do all that little stuff so what I found for me works well once I get my calibration on a big spreader and say I'm going to put on this probably put on so it's going to just for the figured going I'm going to put on one acre this thing going to cover one acre for me so I'll take all my microbes that I'm going to put on and I need for that acre and I'll spread em on top of the spreader once I get a full so I put on say I need 10 pounds more and I'll put 10 pounds a bit more on top of my spread or the soil on top of that thing when it's all filled up maybe my 50 pounds of manganese Sophie or whatever it is and then when I spread that is sloughed off evenly as I go through the field comes off the back of the spreader and it just drops out so it takes my whole weight off of trying to do each one individually by putting it all together one spreader at the same time and I get all the ones works really well I like that and you're sure you could put it on with the gypsum For example this is just some calcium sulfate so. Yeah or compose whatever you're putting on of the book material that's helpful good time to do it sometimes then you've got to plan ahead obviously because you know if you don't get your soil samples in and know what you're going to do in years whether is right for spreading or whatever else you've got to go then you've got to have everything all your ducks in a row to get it lined up right you know there's a little funnel thing called sequencing by some writer and it's like everything you do that there's a certain sequence in when you get screwed up you know but his idea was just go fishing. He said was just go fishing and that is all story about these 2 guys once again they are going to do a thing to do I got to go and see my neighbor is that we just go fishing you know and so that was kind of I should I read it in one of my other presentations confound But anyway so the fishing idea I have in here because this is another thing I wanted to show you as a general idea I consider I'm building my soil biology and mineral balance and fertilize my future crops not necessarily crops for that year there are lots of incredible natural biological processes taking place this is one of them so this is in one of my fields that when i area in the fall the water didn't come up to this spot here but it got this is just a very about a 3 foot wide swath where the water didn't reach everywhere else in my field is all this chaff on top and those are worm castings I can walk on my field at that time of year and every step I take it's crunch crunch crunch crunch and those are just all worms have come up and have fed on the top of the soil where my cover crop was and all my organic matter and they're feeding on that taking it back down and I could just take my boot and scrape it across the mulch and there's worms so that's one of the benefits of having worms. These go out there and get him go down the lake go fishing How do you like that that's a little that's off the lake and right there bias or violate the common man. So you thought I was just growing worms for the soiled into the summers occupied with Mo ing irrigating some pest monitoring Here's the New Deal with those July is when I will take the samples and soil samples to measure plant uptake of nutrients and plan for future Plant Health boy the time to go by fast so this my grandson and we're we plant some rope crossing between the trees when they're young sometimes we're doing some watermelons. This is some lime owing parental cover crop I'd like to tell you more about that the cover clover seed is dormant was dormant after a 5 year rotation and I planted trees back and my my my printer wrote clover came back and just are grown on top of the ground been fuck it been since I took my orchard 5 years ago and been growing vegetables on it with NO NO clover and now it just can't so I went ahead sprinkler it encourage it and it's just starting to fill in now it's been gone a month so it's really pretty amazing. So here irrigating is. Summer same thing. Test aphids one of of one among others some of these problems don't show up every year and in this case the problem with spraying say an oil or something like this at this point is is you have to hit them to kill them and it may slow them down a lot and allow beneficial insects time to catch up so it's not really done work really well at this point but new biologicals may be helpful with a different way of to control them I'm working with some of those with mixed results but best of all I like beneficials because they go where the bugs are and in this process I'm seeing much more of this taking place and not always intervening but watching and observing them and allowing them to do what they can so. If I'm taking. If I'm taking more aggressive maybe measures may be the best like trying to get my best timing for controlling these I'm going back to my dorm it's free time and to understand better if I can do something early to solve this on an immediate basis and then going farther than that and reviewing my fertilizer or cultural practices to see if I have a cause there for example I'm using a dormant oil to do my if I'm using a dorm or will for example I'm using a dorm do my rates or timing need to be adjusted did I change something from from before and are my fertilizer rates implying correct sometimes I think it was just the right conditions for one particular year and one way I've seen that this is the one way I've seen that is if the problems I have I have are widespread with many other growers in the valley which was the this case in 2018 so this 2800 wasn't just me a lot of the growers in valley had problems they face and this is mainly a bigger problem in that year. All the other many years this has been a very small occurrence so this next year will give me more indication on what is going on. So I may not take one years my main problem with this we had an outbreak of a lot of aphids and so all review my dormant program but then these are ladybugs this is their Ladybug a gif you don't know what they look like you need to find out and this is their larva this is the B. look orse they swing are good predators this right here is a parasitize a food which wasp does this it'll sting this a fish we've had was clean up our aprons in our watermelons without any type of other controls they come in they sting him they mummify him they use it as an incubator for their young and then they hatch up more walls and they just that's their environment to pets are young and so they're killing all or if it's force which is it's not always the case we've had other years where it's not been that way. More pests these are just examples and not my trees but these are some things that I need to be aware of and to contend with on my prune trees though I have covered some of these things. Already to prevent the SO blossom brown rot This is for brown rot twigs bore might and we've seen all these things in our fields. And and we're working on these through some of these methods to control them. They heard size they compared size apes. So this is our harvest harvest arts in August for sugar plums we take sugar test to try to pick an optimum time we mechanically move with fruit by shaking the trees deliver to add to hydrate or and then have the fruit size and stored until those process for sale and ship to market so here you see this little tool we cut the fruit take the juice check the sugar with a little refractometer here gives us a ring with sugar levels we have we try to pick some we like to see our fruit get if I get a 25 percent sugar that's what I really like some we've seen it's 20 to 30 sometimes but typically maybe it's $2324.00 and that's why we have their culture plums because they're high sugar regular plums with right on the sugar to skin and pits and so we try to pick a mountain off of a level before the pressure drops when the sugar is high as the pressure drops and sugars on top you're not going to get anything yours going to start dropping on the ground this is my daughter Lisa she helps in this case she's helping pick up these things behind the machines off of you know as they drop so she's kind of just we're trying to get everything we can. This is our harvester and I'll just show you a little clip see if it'll play this thing that's wrong place so hearing. Big A C. one on each side of the tree. And this side will shake the tree. And then we're just trying to pull off a nice crackers because it doesn't clean them all and then as you go this they see that the plucker lets the for roll off on the other side to the right here for runs down and then as a treat as it pulls away this side will tip up the fruit on the conveyor belt and then run it through back through here through the fan well that. Leaves out and then we have another machine come saying see the that's just to wait on chaps that are tied together that span and shake the tree. And then now then we have another machine it comes out we pick up the bands and we'll take a man. Roadside or or we're here we're loading Willow forklift on the trucks and then we take them to to hydrate or the tighter it or put them on trays like this single layer we run through a tunnel a drying tunnel takes of moisture out dries the fresh fruit down into about $3.00 to $1.00 dry away so we take out 2 thirds of the moisture and then we run it through a greater So it's a really long probably longer in this room along screened plates with holes in them and we run across there and small to big so the small fruit drops out 1st the big ones drop out the last and then run into these bins and then this size here this particular one is 40 to 45 that's count for pound So those 42 to 45 prunes for pound and it will go anywhere from say 2030 down to 150 and the big ones we can't hit the pinning sizes any were made of 40 and we the top ones either go for juice or a whole prunes in the bottom ones go for juice or Kalki and that's kind of the process so and then we this is are some of our this is our label will be farms and this is just one of our bins this has all grades or 7 percent fruit in there that maybe has something the matter with it which is pretty good grade in this case. We've had some really good grades so here sizing pitting comes in so the committal fruit control. Growers will when they take a pit out you lose about 15 percent of your weight so they will they'll add a preserve Emad more if you're back in the make the fruit more edible we can't do that because we try to keep our dried fruit relatively dry when we when we market it because if we don't have any preserves on that you can prevent mold or brown rot or whatever else is get on there so you want to keep it fairly dry so it's it in our case it seems a little bit tough sometimes you've got to soften them up. I consider the whole dried sugar plum unpainted our best product not only is it the largest and sweetest fruit from the tree but when you stew the whole sugar plum the pit will diffuse a subtle flavor into the fruit and add a unique taste to the already delicious fruit I have some samples to give out of a few soften once in the back to probably not for everybody but if not on and off I also have some regular whole prunes that are on softened so they're back there on the table when you leave you can take a bag with you if there's enough for body to take take where there is. So then we do it again we start season again. Irrigation. Take or replace our trees Froning friend chopping harvest but I want to do is share something with you some thoughts. Just for a close here on this talk in the spiritual realm it is said to Behold the Lamb of God to have a pattern to follow and develop into a Christ like person Similarly having a goal or picture of making a tree orchard requires a vision or pattern to follow as well I say this because it helps to see ahead of time what you want to accomplish what you want your orchard to be and look like what is the end result you want and to keep that in mind you may be thinking about growing and developing an orchard and one of the thoughts I have had is that in that process God may be thinking. A way to develop this person I say this not because I totally understand it but because I think it is true in this process we day by day get to look at God's creative power and participate in it. So a few words I read to think about a few things God has in mind for us in the New Earth and give us something to look forward to is in Isaiah 6521 and 22 and they shall build houses and inhabit them they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them they shall not build in another inhabit they still not plant in another for as the days of the tree are the days of my people and my elect show long enjoy the work of their hands but just think some day all these weird things we deal with here will be a place. This media was brought to you by audio proofs a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit W.W.W. dot audio Verse dot org.


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