THE MILD WINTER was good for some, yet not so good for others. Warmer temperatures and fewer freezes usually can be a good thing. In some agricultural fields, however, this past winter is making for a tough spring and summer.
Several crops were late in their maturation process due to a lack of cold. On the other hand, some crops (such as blueberries) reached an active stage for growth much earlier than normal with the presence of unusually warmer temperatures.
The one common thread that we are seeing across the entire agricultural community is a rise in pests. Typically, the cooler weather and/or freezes stunt the population of most insects. With the warmer winter and spring, we are experiencing higher population in pests. As well, species are now present that you normally would expect to see during a particular time of year or month.
With all of these factors in mind, it’s definitely time to be proactive. Take the time to ride your crops, groves, pastures, etc. Take a look at pests with a more scrutinizing eye than normal. You may be surprised by what you find.
column by BRAD WEIHRAUCH
BIO: Brad Weihrauch is a Polk County native. He grew up around a family business of agriculture and customer service. After Winter Haven High School, he went on to complete his education at Polk Community College and Warner Southern College. After serving 17 years in customer service for a large retailer, Weihrauch returned to his agriculture roots and founded RWC, an agriservice and management company, in 2002.