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    Flying V Farmers  |  Flying V Farm  |  Placerville, CA

    Subject: Seeking Garden Symphylan Guidance

    Hi all,

    My name is Grayson, myself and three others started a diversified fruit and veggie farm in Placerville CA this January.

    We are learning that we have a Garden Symphylan (GS) infestation in parts of our veggie field. I have found them on the roots of crop plants, as well as lured them with potato slices. They have seriously damaged patches of direct sown spinach, killing or stunting plants just after germination, seems to be stunting growth on transplanted parsley and currently are attacking our direct seeded squash as it germs, killing some before they break the soil surface. It is presenting in patches, and is especially hindering direct sown crops. I have found them in numbers up to five per plant in the bad spots, and 15+ on some of the potato lures. It's definitely impacting our yields and causing us to worry about the suitability of the site.

    After reading though some literature on GS it

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    In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

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    Comments 16
    06/02/18, updated

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      |  Floodgate Farm  |  Redwood Valley, CA commented

    I was told tilling and keeping organic matter low would help. Fortunately I ignored that advice. My OM went from 5% when I had a limited infestation 3 years ago to 8 or 9% now. They seemed to have come in on some goat manure. I do little soil disturbance, just to get plants in. Symphylans now do negligible damage so the fact they eat fungal hyphae which are probably more abundant now seems the case here. I'd suggest no till and transplanting into cut-down areas (cut don't dig in cover crops) or if planting into the just-harvested crop, cut those plantsyou are done with just below surface)

    07/16/18 10:29 PM

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    EDWARD GARDENER  |  Mcbally Farm  |  not in us, IA

    Subject: Looking for resourches for CSA planning

    Hi,

    I'm starting a farm and I'm trying to make a farm plan.

    1: I'm looking for seed spacing resources so I can calculate the amount of seed that I need per row and per bed. So that If i decide I want two beds of lettuce or tomatoes that I know, ok one bed of tomatoes is going to cost me X amount of this seed ect.

    I'm trying to figure this all out and want to use bio-intensive spacings. Or something simmilar of close spaced intensive plantings.

    Does anyone here have any idea where to come across these types of numbers? I'm looking for this for a while now and are not able to find a good reference.

    2: I'm starting a CSA, I'm wondering if there is any place where I can see people's point of refereance for how many carrots for instance to plant for one week of CSA per customer. I'm coming to the conclusion that before I can start to make a schedule that I need to know how much goes in every box and also

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    In Topics Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

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    Comments 4
    12/16/16, updated

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      |  Classic Organic Farm  |  Gaviota, CA commented

    Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog has good info on seeds per 100 feet of row. It's on page 4. Their chart might also be available online at http://johnnyseeds.com.

    12/17/16 11:51 PM

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    Michael Hermon  |  Farm Dog  |  San Jose, CA

    Subject: On-farm soil fertility analysis

    In hope to make soil sampling and nutrient analysis easy and affordable, my team (Farm Dog) is considering to launch a service in which we'll come to any California-based farm, and perform a soil test (OM%, NPK, pH, micro elements) up to 4 times a year - for $150 per field per year (yes, it's that cheap! 4 sampling visits + analysis for $150 per field). The results would be displayed on a private shiny dashboard.

    We're looking to see if there's enough interest to justify launching the service. If this is something you could be interested in - drop me a line to michael@farmdog.ag.

    Wishing you all happy and healthy soil :)

    Michael and the Farm Dog team

    In Topics Soil Fertility Management

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    Comments 4
    03/09/16, updated

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      |  LLW  |  Los Angeles, CA commented

    I think it's a great idea to launch a service which provide analysis of the soil for the farmers. This would help farmers to increase the productivity. My neighbour suggested me to visit forum droit du travail to get the complete information over the labor law, similarly a portal can be made where the complete information regarding soil analysis is provided would also help.

    03/15/16 5:39 AM

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    Mike Byrne  |  Solid Ground Farm llc  |  Belchertown, MA

    Subject: Pressure Regulators & Drip Irrigation Question

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone could answer this one. I've got a 1.5" supply line to drip tape. This supply line will carry the needed 25GPM to the drip zone, where 36 drip lines punch in. Now, I know I need to regulate the pressure here so the tape functions (and doesn't explode). The question is, can I use one 12psi pressure regulator immediately BEFORE the 50' supply line, or do I have to use a 10psi pressure regulator on each individual line of drip tape (that would be 36!). I would, of course, rather use a single 1.5" pressure regulator before the supply line.... but I worry that I would then experience too much pressure loss; incoming pressure would be 12psi then running 25GPM water through 50' of 1.5" supply line and 3,600' of drip line.

    In Topics Water & Irrigation

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    Comment 1
    11/15/15
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      |  School Road Farm  |  San Juan Bautista, CA commented

    Hey Mike,

    You will have minimal friction loss pushing 25 gpm through 50 feet of 1.5" supply line - probably in the range of between 2 and 3 psi. That said is is always better to install pressure regulators as close to the drip header as possible. No need to regulate pressure at each drip line. Just install a 10 psi regulator rated for 25 gallons per minute at the junction between the supply line and the drip header. The drip lines are designed to be pressure compensating along the length of the line so as long as the field is relatively level you will have 10 psi at the head and at the end of the line giving you good system uniformity. "High flow" tape can easily handle up to 300 foot lengths so you are good there. I am assuming you are using "high flow" which is rated at .67 gallons per minute per 100 feet which would require 25 gallons per minute for your thirty six 100 foot lines. The drip header

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    11/15/15 7:56 AM

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    Rachel Kohn Obut  |  Lunita Farm  |  Napa, CA

    Subject: High phosphorus and potassium levels in soil

    I've started some vegetable gardens in two small plots adjacent to some vineyards. I ran soil tests and was pleased to see good pH levels (6.5), loamy sandy soil, and decent organic matter content. One plot tested high in phosphorus and potassium. The second plot tested high in phosphorus, and low in potassium. I wasn't too concerned about this until I've been seeing stunted growth in my planted. Summer squash plants are very small and producing fruit already. Some have yellowed leaves. Tomatoes planted in the lower plot have barely shown any new growth since planting over three weeks ago. Any suggestions of what to do about this, or what crops might tolerate these nutrient imbalances better?

    To be more specific, the upper plot where the summer squash is planted tested 44 ppm phosphorus, and 197 ppm potassium.

    The lower plot where the tomatoes are barely growing, tested 89 ppm phosphorus and 358 ppm

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    Comments 6
    05/07/15

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      |  Center for Land-Based Learning  |  Winters, CA commented

    Hey Rachel, is the yellowing on older leaves or younger leaves? If it's older leaves it's likely nitrogen deficiency. Particularly since the woodchips are incorporated, that can have a major impact. We are seeing the same symptoms on one of our fields (yellowing leaves (and even reddish) and stunted growth) that has poor drainage. The waterlogging of roots also prevents the plants from absorbing nutrients, including nitrogen. Sandy soil usually drains well so that may not be a problem but I thought I'd ask as you guys seem to have gotten a decent amount of rain over the last few months. I'd agree with Rachel Long about N - feathermeal is great as it's high N% but it's very slow to release - 30-60 days. Bloodmeal will act faster, or liquid fish. But check the N% to make sure you are getting enough. Javier is also right about cold weather slowing down the growth and producing similar symptoms, so consider that as well.

    05/09/15 4:43 PM

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    Irene Engber  |  Irene's Garden Produce  |  Laytonville, CA

    Subject: Using a ripper

    I am asking when does one use a ripper.

    Normally this is the sequence I use. I mow the cover crop down. I plow it in. I disc it in. I do one pass with the tiller. When in that sequence should I use the ripper?

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    Comments 4
    04/02/15

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      |  Irene's Garden Produce  |  Laytonville, CA commented

    Thanks for that. I think it must be a chisel I have, it goes down no more than a foot I would say and it has a weight attached to it. I don't think my little 30 horse power tractor would want to do more.

    Thanks again. Irene

    04/05/15 8:32 AM

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    Paul Underhill  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA

    Subject: Affordable GPS for farms?

    I'm wondering if anyone has made the investment in GPS guidance technology for their tractors? I'm not looking for auto steering or anything too high-tech. I would just like a system that I can use one or or two tractors to accurately mark out straight beds and rows for orchard planting.

    There are several products out there that are fairly reasonably priced ($1500-2000), but I am guessing from some of the reviews I have read that they are only marginally accurate. For vegetable growing purposes, I feel like you need consistent accuracy in the one inch range.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

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    Comments 14
    11/26/14

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      |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

    Another fun tidbit I found is that on January 1, 2014, the U.S. government made all of its GPS base stations available to the public. This means that you no longer need to subscribe to a service to provide the "RTK correction" necessary to achieve high accuracy with GPS. The Android App I mentioned above provides you with a way to access the nearest gov't base station. You do, however, need a solid cell signal including internet access to be able to use it effectively.

    12/04/14 9:31 AM

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    Rachel Kohn Obut  |  Lunita Farm  |  Napa, CA

    Subject: Eliminating Bermuda Grass

    The site where I am farming in Sonoma has a pretty significant Bermuda Grass problem. I have ready the page on the UC Davis Extension page about different control strategies, and also spent a lot of time just trying to dig it up, but I am interested to hear from other farmers, especially anyone who has been successful at getting rid of it on their farm. What strategies did you use and were they successful?

    In Topics Soil Fertility Management

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    Comments 8
    11/17/14, updated

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      |  Organic Ag Advisors  |  No. San Juan, CA commented

    I have used weed block fabric in many orchard, berry and vineyard situations heavily infected with bermudagrass. A 4x4 piece is excellent for controlling Bermuda and will give the tree growth unrestricted by Bermuda. I have used this many times on trees completely stunted by Bermuda, with the tree returning to normal growth quickly. You do not have to remove the Bermuda, it wiIl die under the weed fabric. Just pin the weed block to the earth. The best material I have used is from DeWitt. They sell it in rolls or precut pieces.

    11/19/14 11:16 PM

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    Paul Underhill  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA

    Subject: Bagrada Bugs in Norcal

    Hey all. I was out scouting my young kale field for aphids and worms the other day (there were plenty of both) and I found a new and entirely unwelcome pest: Bagrada Bug. It's a new invasive stinkbug that has been moving north from the Mexican border. It feeds primarily on brassicas and does terrible damage.

    There is no organic control for the stupid bug especially to greens since they become essentially unmarketable.. They are recommending vacuuming them off the plants. Apparently another grower in my county reported finding them the same day.,

    I am wondering if anyone has any experience dealing with this pest and what strategies you might have adopted, other than simply plowing your kale and broccoli fields under. Thanks,

    In Topics Pest & Disease Management

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    Comments 31
    09/03/14, updated

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      |  Branch Out Farm  |  Soquel, CA commented

    Hi Rachel-

    Thank you for your offer to share the powerpoint. Might you be willing to post here to alert us when it's up? Also, I am wondering if there might be a way to have the whole workshop recorded. There is just no way I can make it, and would be willing to pay for audio. Thanks!

    10/28/14 3:31 AM

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    Caitlin Hachmyer  |  Red H Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA

    Land Rental Question - does anyone have an average per acre cost for ag land in CA (or northern CA?) that I can quote my landlord for reference?

    Thanks!

    In Topics Business & Financial Planning, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Anything Goes

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    Comments 2
    06/01/14

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      |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

    Caitlin, your local county ag commissioner most likely does an annual survey of farmland rents in your county. It will break down what the land use is, how much farmers pay, and whether it is cash rent or crop share. This is the only way to come up with an accurate range for your area. As Jim said, rents are all over the place depending on the region.

    06/01/14 8:55 PM

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