By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley
My friends, you all know the value that the World Wide Web has for us. After all, as we speak, you are reading an online dispatch. Hopefully you do so regularly, trusting the Tree Nut Farm Press for its reliable news and tips that make your jobs just a bit easier to do.
For obvious reasons, Tree Nut Farm Press and its parents, Western Farm Press and the Farm Progress Network, are amongst my favorite online resources for up-to-date news, resources and tips for everything you need for a successful growing year. If you don’t have these sites bookmarked by now, I’d encourage you to do it. You won’t regret it.
There are also a few others out there that I rely on every day to keep my finger on the pulse of the tree nut world and to source reliable knowledge when I need it. Here they are:
AgFax.com – The folks at AgFax really have an eye for information that growers need, and, because they are online and have been for nearly three decades, that information is always right at your fingertips with your smart phone or tablet. AgFax has email newsletters dedicated to pest updates, crop reports, weekly updates and one especially for tree nut crops. Stop what you are doing and read every AgFax newsletter that hits your inbox and you’ll always be in the know.
CAPCA – As a CAPCA member, I find all kinds of value in the things that they do, but I do especially love their news alerts and field reports. I keep watch for them to let me know if quarantines have been issued for my territory and if pests have been reported. It’s just one more benefit to being a CAPCA member.
UC-IPM – If ever there was a website so packed with reliable information as the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Integrated Pest Management site, I’ve never seen it. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I know a lot, but there are still times that I trust the UC-IPM site to give me solid advice and information about pests and effective pest management practices. Their search function is simply amazing, which means you don’t have to waste time reviewing a bunch of articles and not finding the info you need. Get to know that site today and you’ll thank me tomorrow.
Agrian – Some of the online services that Agrian offers are for subscribers only, like product reviews. But, I really think their free label database is where the true power of this site lies. Need to know what products are registered in your state for a type of pest, Agrian can help. Need to quickly check the labels of products, it’s the Agrian label search to the rescue. Subscription or not, this is a great site for its simplicity and its ability to get useful information in your hands quickly.
Google – Don’t overlook internet mainstay Google to help you monitor what’s going on in the world around you. For instance, I use Google alerts to let me know when news or information hits the Web about California almonds or certain pests or diseases that are prevalent in my territory. I let Google do the web surfing for me so I can concentrate on my customers, and I’m always informed when news hits.
There are so many online tools and resources for growers of all types. The key is to find a tool that you trust and get familiar with how their site or app works. The quicker and easier you can get the information you need, the faster you can put it into practice in your fields.
I’d love to hear what online or app tools you use on the regular on your farm. Send me an email at email@example.com. I may just bring them to the column for others to use.