So the next day Dylan and I headed South to Santa Maria. It is actually on the Pacific coast, although didn’t make it to the beach. But in many ways it was better. We met up with Frank who is a PCA with Retail Partner Santa Maria Valley Crop Service (www.smvalleycropservice.com). Frank showed us some fields where AgroLiquid had been used on some strawberry fields.
Now if you are ever going to do some field checking on some strawberries, make sure it’s when they are ripe and being picked. That is the best way to check. And I can say that the strawberries in this field with AgroLiquid looked and tasted great. The liquid fertilizer is applied during the season through drip tape under the plastic bed cover. And additional Sure-K by foliar application.
Strawberries are one crop that is experiencing a boom right now. As we learned, they are normally finished by this time of year. But good price and demand has kept them picking still. Heck, they are so good I’d pick every last one. Here is an AgroLiquid field being picked while we were there.
Now here is a field of organic strawberries. We didn’t know what the nutrient program was, but they sure weren’t as robust as the previous field.
Well AgroLiquid to the rescue. You probably know that we have C-Tech which is an OMRI certified organic product containing beneficial natural microbes plus organic carbon. This field is on the other side of that fence on the left from the above field, and looks much better. That’s because it had 2 qt/A of C-Tech applied through the drip lines several weeks ago. The plants were certainly bigger and had more pickable strawberries. We had a research project during the summer on organic strawberries not too far from here and saw a similar response and higher yields with C-Tech. That’s why we do research on our products: to confirm performance before going to the grower.
The roots from the C-Tech treated strawberries on the left were also bigger which enabled the plant to feed better.
After that we went to another set of fields. This one was huge. Dylan and Frank walk the line where fertilizer programs are compared. They will keep track of yields. Frank said that some of these strawberries are headed for Hong Kong! That’s amazing. I wonder how they keep them fresh for that long trip? As good as strawberries are, they aren’t exactly good for very long. That’s why they should be consumed the day of purchase and repeat the next day.
This field was also being picked by a crew that was really hustling. The field pickers would fill baskets in a box and one person would run the box to the packing operation line around a fifty to a hundred feet away. Then run the empty box back out to the pickers. And repeat over and over. Now that’s work. I, on the other hand, was picking them one at a time. But I wasn’t running anywhere. But God bless those field workers.
Now we couldn’t really see any differences from fertilizer programs, which is good I guess. We will see in the end. On another note, it’s terrible all of the wildfires currently plaguing California. We can only hope that they get controlled and soon. And hope that the people and places affected get the help they need.