Two Years After Maria
Puerto Rico Winter Farm Report – by Lizandro Perez, Station Manager
Two years after Hurricane Maria and I can say that most things are back to normal with the exception of some families that are still using tarps on their roofs because they have not had the chance or the resources to fix their houses. Some of the island infrastructures are pending repairs or the repairs are in progress. We are on the peak of the hurricane season and the farm area is still under a severe drought, but it may change soon because the farm received some rain and we are expecting more rain during the month of September. 60% of the island is under normal weather conditions. The water we use for irrigation is from deep wells and the levels are normal.
Crops planted at the farm are corn growouts, sorghum increases, soybean crossing blocks, soybean generation advances and sunflowers growouts. We are currently doing a chickpea trial to evaluate it for possible chickpea plantings. Crop conditions are good to excellent. We are in the process of getting ready for our main season which is winter. All the fences on the farm were checked and repaired. All of the irrigation lines were removed from the fields and the ground was subsoiled and disc. Now we are keeping the fields clean with herbicide or the cultivator. Farm equipment is being checked and the farm made some equipment purchases which include a new spray tank to be used mostly for herbicide spraying and a used fork lift. The main trailer office received new DC Inverter air conditioners. Crops that we should be planting during our winter season are corn, cowpeas, barley, dry beans, peanuts, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, tobacco and wheat. A new crop at the farm this year is going to be canola. For insect control on corn and soybeans we are planning to keep using the windows program (using different mode of action every two months) with the goal of creating a wide insecticide resistance management strategy for fall armyworm and earworm on corn as well as cabbage looper and soybean looper on soybeans. This approach is been used by most of the companies working with corn and soybeans on the island.
Some of you may have watched the news about the resignation of the governor of Puerto Rico. The secretary of justice is the governor now and just wants to let you know that the government is stable. So far is doing a good job making the necessary changes to keep the government stable while dealing with the islands economic situation.
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