Week 5 at CHS has been pretty busy. There is a lot more for me to do now that the fruit is getting closer to harvest season. We started to find some brown rot in some sweet cherries this week which isn’t good because if brown rot goes untreated it can wipe out an entire crop. We are also starting to see a lot of apple scab which is caused by a fungus. Now that I’m am getting better and more comfortable scouting I am starting to learn the chemical side of the business. Every time I find something I always tell my sales rep what it is and he tells me what they would spray to take care of it. Now I kind of now what we treat with what.
This week was also time to start replacing all of our traps. The traps that needed replacing were the coddling moth traps. The coddling moth is a pest mostly in apples. The traps consist of a triangular box, a sticky board and a lure. The lure is a small scented piece that goes on top of the sticky board which goes into the triangular box. The moth get attracted into the box and then gets stuck on the board. The point of these traps is not to kill all of them. It’s to see how much we catch so we can determine if its a problem or not. We also set new traps this week for Oblique banded leaf roller. This is a pest in both cherries and apples so we set the traps in both. They work the same way as the coddling moth traps.
In the hops we are still finding downy mildew which isn’t good. Once you get it in a hop field it is extremely hard and costly to get rid of. One thing that I am learning about hop farming is it is very capital intensive. Today, I was talking to one of the hop farmers and he mentioned that he has had that field planted for 4 years and he has yet to see a profit from it. It takes a lot of irrigation and infrastructure to grow hops. The processing is also costly. Most hop farmers don’t do their own processing so that means they get even less money for the hops.