- Author: Chris M. Webb
UCCE Farm Advisor, Oleg Daugovish recently participated in a trip sponsored by the Partners of Americas Farmer to Farmer Program. This program is designed to improve economic opportunities of people living in rural areas of Latin America and the Carribbean.
Over nine days, Oleg helped participants in the Dominican Republic (DR ) learn how to increase food production and distribution, suggested improvements for farm operations and conserving natural resources. Most producers in this area of the world have small acreage and part of the production takes place in greenhouses or under tunnels. Most operations use drip irrigation. Greenhouses are equipped with double screen doors. Diagnostic facilities are not readily available.
Much like in Ventura County, many of the farmers Oleg worked with in DR grew strawberries and peppers. Growers in both places face many of the same challenges, but with different climates and infrastructures. While in the Dominican Republic Oleg covered many miles, visited multiple farms per day, and educated a lot of people at several meetings.
Topics covered included:
- Weed management
- Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD)
- Quality of planting material
- Crop rotation
- Slight adjustments in production to increase yield
In addition to the help he provided in person, Oleg shared the following UC ANR online resources with DR farmers.
- University of California post-harvest management for fruits and vegetables (en Espanol) -- the produce facts sheets are available in several languages
- University of California IPM guidelines, available for most crops, including strawberry (en Espanol). This site has a crop –specific pest and weed management treatment table for each pest/weed/pathogen and is updated frequently
- Phytophthora spp. seem to be prevalent among soil-borne pathogens in the DR. Aside from fumigation and ASD, phosphorus acid materials can be used such as Fosfite, Alliete or others containing the same active ingredient. Details are at this page of the University of California IPM website.
- Section of web-page for Strawberry production at the UCCE-Ventura County website. The menu on the left contains presentations on various subjects and links to UC weed susceptibility chart for herbicides available in California and cost and return studies for crops
- Foundation plant Services at U. California – strawberry. The site provides info about obtaining the UC varieties of strawberries.