Lettuce in the Salinas Valley is direct seeded by planting 3–4 times the amount of seed need and then thinning the stand to the desired spacing. Lettuce is one of the few crops that is still thinned because seed is still cheap enough and high yield potential is dependent on having maximum plant population.
In 2013 automated thinners were introduced to the Salinas Valley and are now employed to thin a significant portion of the lettuce crop. Labor shortages have spurred the growth in the use of automated thinner machines. The machines have basically three key components: 1) a camera to detect the crop, 2) computer for processing the images, calculating spacing and determining which plants to keep and remove, and 3) the kill...
It really has gotten out of hand--Hairy Fleabane and Horseweed which are both Conyza weed species that have run rampant this year because of the extra rain. It's also because they have become resistant to glyphosate herbicide. The problem has shown up all over the US and other parts of the world. Gradually as resistance has grown and their resistant fairy seeds have floated wherever the winds go, the weed is having a field day everywhere in.../h3>
- Author: Thomas Getts
There was a post written a few months ago by Rebecca Ozeran entitled “A Tale of Two Grasses,” describing her experiences with cheatgrass and contrasting its characteristics with another invasive annual, medusahead. It was an excellently written blog, and I encourage you to check it out!
As I rode my bike through a haze of smoke this morning, I decided it would be appropriate to describe the impacts I see this invasive annual having up in the northeastern corner of the state, because it is just about everywhere! (And I have some cool fire photos to share…) Cheatgrass...
I went out on a few farm calls in the past week, and have noticed a trend. Due to the unusually wet weather this spring, some of the weeds are already producing seed out in the field! This occurs when the field was moist or wet in the spring, and was not tilled or sprayed prior to planting.
If you have weeds that are already setting seed, follow the steps below:
1) First, make sure to get proper identification of the weed species. Some weed species will produce seed and that seed can germinate and send up a second flush of weeds, in the same season! They are:
- Smallflower umbrella sedge
- Author: Guy B Kyser
Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) kept a low profile during the drought years but seems to have exploded following this year's rains. (It is still ‘lying low', so to speak, but there is a lot more of it.)
Also known as goatheads or caltrop, puncturevine is a prostrate annual that produces large, hard, spiked seeds. The seeds disseminate by sticking to animals, tires, and feet, and can easily puncture bike and ATV tires. I tried to do a puncturevine study once but couldn't get the seeds to germinate; my theory now is that the seeds have to be run over by a vehicle before they'll sprout. Conveniently, the plant is commonly found along dirt roads, on roadsides, and on the edges of ag...