Introduction to Crop Care
Crop Care, especially weeding, is something that always seems to fall by wayside when the farm’s other priorities become more pressing. My intention in taking on this element in my third year is to be an advocate for our crops; trying to prioritize care where and when it is needed and keep track all of our crops’ needs. Another thing I’d like to focus on is trying to decrease worker hours spent weeding by keeping up on scuffle and wheel hoeing and making use of our mechanical cultivation options. The time spent rescuing crops from weeds by hand has a much high cost in time than if the weeds were addressed earlier. To help manage this I have created a Task List Form for a weekly field-walk in which I lay out the Crop Care jobs for the week with notes on priority and method of task completion.
Tasks and Responsibilities-
Weed Control- Observation, prioritization, and deciding on the method of treatment for weeds, then working with the crew to accomplish tasks.
Irrigation- Ensuring crops are receiving water regularly
Mulching- Managing application of straw mulch. Certain crops receive straw mulch to smother weeds and prevent splash-back of soil.
Trellising- Keeping up with the trellis needs of our crops
Pest Control- Monitoring for pest damage in field crops and taking appropriate action
Field Access/Field Clean Up- Keeping field edges mowed and fields clean of debris. Removing driptape, sandbags, and other items from field after use.
Crop Cover- Managing our early/late season use of remay, plastic, hoops and sandbags
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