Good weather for World Ag Expo finale

Partly cloudy skies and 60 degrees should greet the expected heavy crowds at today’s final day of the 2010 World Ag Expo at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, Calif.

Expo hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Throngs descended on the world’s largest farm show on Wednesday amid partly cloudy skies and slight winds which helped dry the fairgrounds following rains on Tuesday.

Crowds were so heavy Wednesday that lines of people formed in some exhibit areas. Visitors eagerly talked with exhibitors to gain the latest information to improve farmers’ bottom lines.

Farmers Joe Romance Sr. and Jr. purchased equipment Wednesday. Joe Sr. is a beekeeper in Minot, N.D., while Joe Jr. grows Nonpareil, Monterey, and Fritz almonds near Bakersfield, Calif.

“We just bought two Hummerbee forklifts which are specialty forklifts for beekeepers,” Joe Sr. said.

The father and son duo unlatched the side panels of a Nelson Hardie orchard sprayer for closer inspection.

Blaine Hanson and Blake Sanden of the University of California Cooperative Extension discussed irrigation management strategies in water-short years during an educational seminar.

Hansen, an irrigation and drainage specialist, posed irrigation strategies in row and field crops including: reduce the irrigated acreage, fully irrigate especially during the early-growing season and then limit or stop irrigation; or deficit irrigate the entire field.

“All three of these strategies however will result in a yield loss,” Hansen said. “There is no way you can get around that in field and row crops.”

A fourth strategy is to substitute groundwater if available if surface water supplies are exhausted. Hansen warned that groundwater with a high salinity content can be detrimental in Westside California tomato production.

International visitors Kazim Khan and Abdul Jabbar Khan Kakar enjoyed a brief respite Wednesday at the Expo’s Heritage Center. The fruit and vegetable growers traveled 30 hours from Pakistan to attend the world’s largest farm show.

“We want to look at new machinery including tractors, sprayers, and cultivators plus examine the diversification in farming,” said Kakar who grows apples, grapes, stone fruits, and other crops.

Unlike the Western United States, water for agriculture is plentiful in Pakistan, Kakar says.

Thursday is the final day of the 43rd annual Expo. Seminar speakers will discuss various irrigation issues, California’s water crisis and the Endangered Species Act, surviving and thriving through a job loss, and other issues.

According to the Expo’s Steven Knudsen, gross exhibitor sales during World Ag Expo generally total about $280 million. The three-day farm show generates an estimated $1.2 billion infusion to the regional economy.

TAGS: Management
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