Groundhog Day is a legendary holiday where a Punxsutawney Phil, a famous groundhog, predicts if we will have six additional weeks of winter or if spring will come early based upon him seeing his shadow. To a farmer in the West, no shadow sighting means we have six more weeks of opportunity to build a snow pack that will support the 2022 cropping season, and potentially break the drought cycle.
Despite the prediction Phil has made, the Western growing regions have yet to build enough precipitation to support 50 percent of the allocated water needed to grow the specialty crops in these regions. The precipitation that has been received is quickly disappearing with unseasonably warm temperatures in February. Aside from lack of precipitation, the push for progression and efficiency continues to weigh on growers in the West.
Across the West, farmers are utilizing their opportunities via warm weather to get into the fields and get an early start on spring work. At this time of the year you will begin seeing various activities being performed in several crops across our regions.In permanent crops grown in the Yakima Valley, Whatcom County, Willamette Valley, and northern Sacramento Valley you will find growers working on pruning and tying off trees in crops such as:
- Wine Grapes
Row Crop activities at this time of year are highly dependent on the region they are being grown. In the Skagit Valley, Willamette Valley, Columbia Basin, and northern Sacramento Valley you will find growers spraying pesticides, spreading fertilizer, harvesting vegetables, tilling fields and beginning early planting. These activities are happening in crops such as:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Grass Seed
Dryland cropping systems begin their season later due to their shorter growing season. In North Idaho, Eastern Washington, the Palouse Prairie, and Eastern Oregon you can find growers focusing on equipment preparation for spring seeding, monitoring planting emergence, preordering crop inputs, and early season pesticide spraying. These activities are happening in:
- Winter Wheat
- Timothy Hay
- Bluegrass Seed
- Dairy Farm
- Beef Cattle Ranch
- Sheep Farm
With the push for progression and efficiencies Papé Machinery is supporting these cropping systems in different forms. John Deere and other manufacturers have developed equipment and precision ag technology to aid in this movement towards highly productive operations. The Papé Machinery team is dedicated to train and work with the interested parties in developing this advanced technology to help improve their operations for the 2022 season. Reach out to your local Papé Machinery Ag & Turf team and find out how we can help you put the latest precision technologies to work to improve your operation.